Sofia Kenin didn’t get off to the start she would have liked in her second round match on Thursday. Taking on German Laura Siegemund, the 20th seeded American was broken in her first service game and quickly found herself down 0-3.
But Kenin would shake the early nerves, and responded in a big way to earn the 7-6(4), 6-0 victory and book her spot in the US Open third-round for a third consecutive year.
“I started off kind of rusty, nerves showing, which is obviously normal at this stage,” said Kenin. “I just fought. I know Laura is a really tough player, gives you different balls, different looks. It wasn’t easy, but I’m really happy that I was able to find a way. First set was close. Second set, I just took advantage of it and I felt like everything was going my way.”
After breaking back in the middle of the first set, the 20-year-old Florida native never looked back. She took the first set in the tie-breaker, and then dominated the ensuing second set in just 33 minutes, committing only six unforced errors and winning 12 of the 15 points on her serve to complete the victory.
“I’m really happy. Third round for the third year in a row, which is obviously really good. I’m just going to use all my confidence that I have had in the past few weeks. I’m having good weeks and good preparation coming into here,” she added. “It’s never easy winning your first match here, and then the second match. You obviously feel the anxiety when you’re playing here, especially for me in New York. It feels like home. Just getting through that, I feel like that’s going to definitely help me for tomorrow.”
Kenin moves on to play a familiar foe in 10th-seeded Madison Keys. The two met just a couple of weeks ago in the Cincinnati semifinals, a match Keys won in straight sets.
“It was obviously a tough match against Madison. She’s playing well. I felt like a few opportunities didn’t go my way there. I had a few breakpoints and I didn’t close it out,” said Kenin. “Overall it was a good match in Cincinnati, so hopefully I can just take my opportunities tomorrow.”
Germany’s Andrea Petkovic upset sixth-seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-4, dropping serve just one time in the one hour and 35 minute match. A quarterfinalist here eight years ago, Petkovic advances to face the 25th seed Elise Mertens, a 6-2, 6-2 winner Thursday afternoon over Kristyna Pliskova.
Petra Kvitova fell to Germany’s Andrea Petkovic Thursday afternoon in Flushing Meadows, 4-6, 4-6
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org