Fixture: (2) Sofia Kenin vs Yanina Wickmayer
Date: 1 September 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: 3 pm EDT, 12:30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar
Sofia Kenin vs Yanina Wickmayer preview
After a blistering start to the year that saw her reign supreme in Melbourne and Lyon, the 21-year-old Russian-born American failed to exhibit the same form when the tour restarted.
The world number four was blown away by French veteran Alize Cornet in the first set of her opening-round match at the Western & Southern Open as she showed signs of rustiness after a five-month break. Even though she recovered in the second set, a win was not to be as Kenin fell 1-6, 6-7(7) to arrive at her home Grand Slam on a losing note.
Kenin's first-round opponent, Yanina Wickmayer, impressed everyone with her sizzling run to the semifinals of the US Open in 2009, but she hasn't done much of late that would make her a threat for the reigning Australian Open champion. This year, Wickmayer has played in the main draw of tournaments on the WTA Tour only twice, doing so both times in 125K tournaments.
The tour resumption hasn't been kind to Wickmayer as the Belgian slumped to losses in qualifying at both Palermo and Prague. Her ranking has now plummeted to a lowly 146th, which makes her battle with Sofia Kenin one between players at the opposite ends of the tennis spectrum.
Sofia Kenin vs Yanina Wickmayer head-to-head
Interestingly, it is Wickmayer who has a 1-0 lead over Sofia Kenin in the pair's head-to-head rivalry. The former world number 12 walloped the 2020 Australian Open champion 6-3, 6-3 in the pair's lone meeting at the 2018 Indian Wells 125K tournament.
However, it goes without saying that both players have had contrasting fortunes since then. The fast-rising Sofia Kenin has improved tremendously and has blossomed into a mature player adept at showing some wonderful variety on the court while Wickmayer has slid outside the top 100 in the rankings.
Sofia Kenin vs Yanina Wickmayer prediction
The fact that Sofia Kenin has the ability to reset quickly gives her a clear edge in her clash against Yanina Wickmayer.
The American displayed this attribute earlier in the year when she won the title in Lyon after disappointing performances in Dubai and Doha. Sofia Kenin would look to quickly introspect what went wrong for her at the Cincinnati Open and come out with a bang at the US Open.
Kenin's keen court sense and variations would also help her a great deal in breaking down Yanina Wickmayer. With her occasional drop-shot and slice, she will look to expose Wickmayer's poor movement and wrest control of the match.
Sofia Kenin right now seems to have too much firepower and self-belief for the struggling Wickmayer. The pair's first-round matchup should be a breezy affair for the American.
Prediction: Sofia Kenin to win in straight sets.Published 30 Aug 2020, 22:41 IST