Another dream week for Kenin as she edges past Leylah Fernandez in exhilarating clash, securing Guadalajara semifinal spot

WTA
Thursday, 21 September 2023 at 23:59
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Sofia Kenin overcame a tough match against Leylah Fernandez with a score of 6-4, 6-7, 6-1, advancing to the semifinals of the WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open.
An attractive match between two tennis players who have found good form this week, with the only recorded one previous encounter at the 2020 US Open, when the American emerging victorious as the second seed in the tournament.
Especially Sofia Kenin (53th) arrived showing glimpses of her best performance with a recent runner-up finish at the WTA 500 San Diego Open last week. In just a few weeks, she returned to the top 100 and came into the match on the cusp of the top 40 in the live rankings, a far cry from her position a year ago when she was outside the top 300.
Leylah Fernandez (74th) started the year as the world No. 40, but after the French Open, she was on the verge of dropping out of the top 100 and had not found enough consistency to regain her position, going from being seeded in tournaments to playing qualifiers to access the main draws in recent months.
The 2021 US Open finalist surrendered her service in the opening game, giving her opponent a quick 2-0 lead. However, Fernandez recovered the break on her first opportunity and managed to level the set in a closely contested start.
The American troubled Fernandez by serving wide, allowing her to move her opponent and defend her subsequent service games. Kenin took advantage of some irregularities in her opponent's service and seized her second break opportunity to then claim the set 6-4.
Both players gave up their service early in the second set, but Leylah improved in crucial points, defending her service even with difficulties and subsequently securing a break that gave her a 5-2 lead.
However, Fernandez couldn't hold strong to close out the set, conceding the next three games to Kenin, including a break, and squandering two set points with the score at 5-4 in favor of the former Australian Open champion.
Both players held their service games to reach the tie-break. Leylah found herself two mini breaks down (4-1) but made a strong comeback, winning five consecutive points to take a 6-4 lead. The Canadian squandered two set points, with the second coming from a regrettable double fault. However, she ultimately prevailed, securing the set 7-6(6).
The third set was entirely different from the previous course of the match. Leylah Fernandez's level declined while her opponent remained composed. Two consecutive breaks put Kenin up 5-0, an advantage that proved insurmountable for her opponent, and Kenin secured the match 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-1
In the semifinals, she awaits the clash between two of the surprises of the quarterfinals: Martina Trevisan (54th), who upset the first seed Ons Jabeur (7th), and Caroline Dolehide (111th), who eliminated the 8th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova (20th).

Kenin d. Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-7(6) 6-1 in Guadalajara When Sofia was at her best, it always felt like she played with such a heavy weight on her shoulders Well, she’s back to her brilliant best That weight has been lifted ✅1st WTA 1000 SF in 4 years Sonya looks free 🇺🇸❤️

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