Kenin, Sandgren seek titles
Arthur Kapetanakis | January 11, 2019
Every Friday throughout the 2019 season, "Weekend Warriors" will spotlight the Americans who have advanced to the business end of ATP, WTA and USTA Pro Circuit tournaments. Stay tuned to see who is still standing heading into the weekend and where to watch their trophy chase.
As the ATP and WTA Tours build up to the year's first major, Sofia Kenin and Tennys Sandgren are each one win away from entering the Australian Open on the heels of a first career Tour-level singles title.
Kenin, who won her first WTA doubles title on Sunday at the Auckland Open, with Eugenie Bouchard, took out three seeds this week at the Hobart Open to reach her first WTA final, against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia. The 20-year old American, who broke into the WTA's Top 50 for the first time in October, defeated No. ADVERTISEMENT 1 Caroline Garcia in Round 1, No. 7 Kirsten Flipkens in the quarterfinals and No. 6 Alize Cornet in the semifinals on her way to the championship match, which is slated for 9 p.m. ET on Friday night.
Sandgren, one year removed from his breakout performance as an Australian Open quarterfinalist, faces Britain's Cameron Norrie at the Auckland Open for his first ATP title. He got past No. 3 Marco Cecchinato, the surprise French Open semifinalist who is now ranked inside the ATP's Top 20, in Round 2, before taking out Leonardo Mayer in the quarters and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the semis. The final is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
Back in the U.S., on the USTA Pro Circuit, semifinalist JJ Wolf is the lone wolf as the last American standing at the ATP Challenger 80 event in Columbus, Ohio, while No. 3 Martin Redlicki and wild card Govind Nanda will contest opposite semifinals at the ITF World Tennis Tour 25 event in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday.