World No. 8 Sofia Kenin won't be making her return to action at next week's Indian Wells Masters. Kenin, a former world No. 4, hasn't played since Wimbledon. Kenin has battled a foot injury and a positive COVID-19 test kept her out of the US Open.
Kenin, 22, picked up back-to-back second round defeats at the Indian Wells Masters in 2018 and 2019. Kenin has had a tough and disappointing season so far, battling injuries and picking up multiple early exits.
Kenin to be replaced by Ana Konjuh
Following the withdrawal of Kenin, a place in the Indian Wells main draw opened for Konjuh.
Konjuh's lone appearance at the Indian Wells Masters came in 2017, when he lost in the second round. Konjuh underwent four elbow surgeries in the past few years but she has managed to stay healthy for the past year.
“Obviously I am proud of myself, of what I have done,” Konjuh told the WTA website. “I think we can stop calling it a comeback at this point. I just want to stay healthy and prepare for next year and we will see what we can do”.
Konjuh has played lots of tennis over the last year as she is making up for the time she lost while out injured. “I started playing at the end of last September in my first ITF, so it has been a long season for me and especially coming off an injury, I have played a lot of matches, a lot of tournaments, having to play through qualies, things like that,” she said.
“The body is good. The elbow is manageable, I would say. It is never going to be normal again, which I accept. It is just a matter of doing the best I can, taking it day by day, just to prepare for each and every match”.