WTA Guangzhou: Sofia Kenin tops Samantha Stosur for third WTA crown

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WTA Guangzhou: Sofia Kenin tops Samantha Stosur for third WTA crown

The 20-year-old Sofia Kenin has become the fourth player in 2019 with at least three WTA titles, prevailing against Samantha Stosur 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 33 minutes. It was the first win for the youngster over the veteran, earning it after fending off five out of seven break chances and five breaks she grabbed from ten opportunities, controlling the pace in sets two and three to go all the way and lift already the third trophy in the breakthrough season.

The opening set lasted for almost 70 minutes and it was the American who made a better start, serving well and wasting two break chances in game two before breaking Stosur at love at 3-2 to forge the lead. It lasted only for a couple of minutes, though, with Samantha breaking back in the very next game after a poor drop shot from Kenin who faced more troubles in her games at 4-4 as well, repelling two break chances to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard.

In the tie break, Stosur grabbed three mini-breaks and closed it 7-4 when Sofia sprayed a forehand error, looking good to win the first title in two and a half years. The American had an early lead in set number two before squandering it following a loose service game at 2-1, staying neck and neck in the next couple of games before Stosur got broken at 15 in the ninth game, allowing Kenin to secure the set with a service winner in game ten, becoming the favorite for the title ahead of the decider.

A deep return clinched a break for the youngster at the beginning of the third set and she soon had a 3-0 lead thanks to another break in the third game. Serving for the title at 5-2, Sofia blasted a service winner to move over the top and lift the trophy that cements her top-20 status ahead of the remaining events of the season.