San Diego Open: Barbora Krejcikova denies Sofia Kenin to claim glory in California

Sofia Kenin displayed absolute consistency throughout the week despite coming short in the end

by Abbey Johnson
San Diego Open: Barbora Krejcikova denies Sofia Kenin to claim glory in California
© Sean M. Haffey/ Getty Images

Barbora Krejcikova’s the 2023 San Diego Open titlist. The Czech defeated Sofia Kenin in a clash that featured two former Major winners after two hours and 38 minutes on Sunday. The final score read 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in Krejcikova’s favour.

The opening set was topsy-turvy in which Krejcikova trailed her opponent by a break on two occasions. But in the end, she was the one who moved past her hijinks to secure the first set and gain momentum in the match. Thwarted in the opener, Kenin retaliated strongly in the second set and Krejcikova struggled to retain her control over the proceedings.

Both players didn’t cede any ground in the deciding set as if conscious of what lay on the line. The set remained on serve up to the eighth game. In the ninth game, Kenin brought up a quartet of break points on her rival’s serve but the latter staved them all off.

In the 10th game, Kenin faced a couple of match points on her serve. And although she saved one, an erroneous shot off her racquet saw Krejcikova get the decisive break and the title win.

San Diego Open: The numbers behind Barbora Krejcikova's win

Kenin won marginally more first-serve points than Krejcikova.

The American won 69% of her first-serve points to her opponent’s 66%. However, Krejcikova did better when it came to winning second-serve points, even on return. The 2021 French Open winner won 47% of her second-serve points and 68% points on return on the 2020 Australian Open winner’s second serve.

Both players combined to create 20 break point chances, of which 12 came on Kenin’s serve. Kenin went on to save eight of these while Krejcikova saved four of the eight break points she faced. The San Diego Open’s the second title Barbora Krejcikova’s won in 2023.

Her other title this year came at the Dubai Open. She also played the Rothesay Classic final in Birmingham (lost to Jelena Ostapenko). Meanwhile, despite her loss, the takeaway remained just as huge for Sofia Kenin. The 24-year-old, who’d been struggling to regain her form for a while now, made huge strides in that regard.

This marked the first time in almost four years (since the 2020 French Open) that she’d reached a final on the circuit.

San Diego Open Barbora Krejcikova Sofia Kenin