San Diego Open: Sofia Kenin leads home favourites into the pre-quarters!

Beatriz Haddad Maia was the lone seed who triumphed in her opening-round match

by Abbey Johnson
San Diego Open: Sofia Kenin leads home favourites into the pre-quarters!
© Sarah Stier/ Getty Images Staff

Sofia Kenin scripted the first of Tuesday’s shockers at the San Diego Open. The American stunned sixth seed Veronika Kudermetova in their round-of-32 match-up, 6-4, 6-4. Kenin needed an hour and 25 minutes to get through the encounter.

Kudermetova hit five double faults in the match which affected her play despite her hitting four aces. Kenin won 71% of her first-serve points to her opponent’s 69% and 68% of her second-serve points. Of the 23 points played on Kudermetova’s second serve, Kenin won seven on return.

Kenin, titlist at the 2020 Australian Open, saved one of the two break points she faced while converting three of five break points on Kudermetova’s serve. In fact, Kenin dropped her serve in the second set but from 2-4 down in the proceedings, won four games in a row to topple her higher-ranked rival.

In the second round, Kenin’s opponent will be fellow countrywoman, Katie Volynets.

San Diego Open: Sloane Stephens, Danielle Collins' assertive victories

Two other local players joined Kenin in the second round on Tuesday.

One was Danielle Collins and the other was Sloane Stephens. Collins won 7-5, 6-0 against compatriot Louisa Chirico in 10 minutes past the hour-mark. Collins won 75% of her first-serve points to her opponent’s 60%. The former Australian Open runner-up also won 12 of 15 points played on her second serve.

She also won 14 of 25 points played on Chirico’s second serve. It also helped Collins in the match that Chirico hit six double faults. Incidentally, none of these six came in the second set in which the world no. 43 was almost ruthless in her tactical display.

The 29-year-old Collins’ next rival will be Jelena Ostapenko. The Latvian upset eighth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in a match that had multiple twists and turns. Eventually, Ostapenko prevailed 7-6(3), 6-7(6), 7-5 after almost three hours of play.

Meanwhile, Stephens posted a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 win over Elise Mertens after 73 minutes of play to enter the round-of-16. Stephens will take on the second-seeded Caroline Garcia. Lastly, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Marta Kostyuk set up a second-round match at the San Diego Open.

The seventh seed from Brazil won against fellow left-hander Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. The Ukrainian won against Magda Linette 6-2, 7-6(5).

San Diego Open Sofia Kenin Beatriz Haddad Maia