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US Open 2020: Sofia Kenin vs Elise Mertens preview, head-to-head & prediction

Sofia Kenin at the 2020 US Open
Sofia Kenin at the 2020 US Open
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 07 Sep 2020, 01:17 IST
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Match details

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

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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.

Elise Mertens at the 2020 US Open
Elise Mertens at the 2020 US Open

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.

At the US Open so far, the Belgian hasn't conceded a single set in her early round wins against Laura Siegemund, Sara Sorribes Tormo and Caty McNally.

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

Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open
Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open

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
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