Fixture: Sofia Kenin vs Elise Mertens
Date: 7 September 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: Fourth round (Round of 16)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: 9.30 pm EDT, 7 am IST
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Sofia Kenin vs Elise Mertens preview
Second seed Sofia Kenin looks to strengthen her bid for a second Grand Slam title as she faces off against Elise Mertens in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday. Mertens herself will be looking to match her career-best showing at Flushing Meadows last year, and reach a second consecutive quarterfinal.
Kenin has carried her remarkable form this year (titles at the Australian Open and Lyon) into the US Open. After a surprise first-round defeat to Alize Cornet at the Western & Southern Open last week, she looks back in her groove now.
The American has dispatched Yanina Wickmayer, Leylah Fernandez and Ons Jabeur in the first three rounds of the tournament in blistering fashion. She hasn't dropped a single set so far, and has been broken just twice.
Kenin's opponent, Belgium's Elise Mertens, has also been in incredible form since the restart of the WTA tour. The World No. 18 finished as the runner-up at the Prague Open in August, and also reached the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open at Flushing Meadows.
Sofia Kenin vs Elise Mertens head-to-head
Their fourth round match at the US Open is the third between Sofia Kenin and Elise Mertens, and the head-to-head currently stands at 2-0 in favor of Kenin.
Both of their previous meetings came in 2019, and on both occasions the American player overturned a one-set deficit. Their last encounter was at the Wuhan Open second round, where Kenin won 4-6 6-4 7-6.
Sofia Kenin vs Elise Mertens prediction
This match is particularly difficult to call as both players are coming in on the back of some excellent results.
In the recent past, Sofia Kenin's on-the-rise hitting and good shot selection have proved to be problematic for attacking and defensive players alike. But Elise Mertens' counterpunching baseline game is somewhere in the middle, and it has foiled all types of opponents across surfaces over the past month.
The Belgian comes into the match having played 19 matches in the last one month alone (singles and doubles combined), and her physical fitness may be pushed in case the match is stretched long.
The battle between Kenin's remarkable serving form and Mertens' strong return is set to be one of the key factors in the match. The American has shown glimpses of her Australian Open swagger this week though; while Mertens is the most difficult hurdle in her path so far, it is one she should cross if she plays to her potential.
Prediction: Sofia Kenin to win in three sets.Published 07 Sep 2020, 00:20 IST