World no. 6 Sofia Kenin is through to the second Major final of the season, prevailing over Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 45 minutes. The Australian Open champion is competing in Paris for the third time, reaching the fourth round in 2019 and raising her level to become a title contender this year, all that after an embarrassing 6-0, 6-0 loss to Victoria Azarenka in Rome!
In four of the first five encounters, Kenin had to dig deep and bring the victory home in the deciding set to remain on the title course, delivering a bagel against the compatriot Danielle Collins in the quarters and continuing in great style against the Czech for her second Major final at 21.
Sofia won four points more than Kvitova, converting four out of five break chances and defending no less than ten out of 12 break points to reduce the deficit in her games and seal the deal in straight sets. Defending her backhand nicely against Kvitova’s lefty forehand, Kenin hit 23 winners and 20 unforced errors, leaving the opponent on a 28-31 ratio and holding her nerves in the closing moments of the second set to move over the top.
Petra had the upper hand in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes, with the American working hard to overcome that in more extended rallies, enough to secure the triumph. Kvitova held at love in the first game before she suffered a break at 1-1 following a deep return from the youngster that she couldn’t control.
Kenin closed the fourth game with a service winner, securing another break in the next one when Petra sprayed a backhand mistake to open a 4-1 gap after 14 minutes. The Czech pulled one break back in game six to reduce the deficit, landing an ace to stay in touch at 3-4.
Sofia Kenin will compete in the second Major final.
Sofia saved a break point in game eight with an unreturned serve, closing the game when Kvitova sent a forehand long and sealing the opener with another powerful serve at 5-4 after 38 minutes.
Both players held at 15 in the opening games of the second set and Kenin repelled a break chance in game four to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard. The youngster broke in the fifth game with a forehand winner, fending off four break opportunities in the next one to open a 4-2 gap.
Sofia held at 15 with an ace in game eight to increase the lead, serving for the victory at 5-4. Kvitova broke back to level the score at 5-5 and extend her chances, only to lose serve again in the 11th game. Serving for the win for the second time, Kenin survived a break point thanks to a terrible forehand from Kvitova, sealing the deal and chasing the second Major title against Iga Swiatek.