It shouldn’t come as a shock anymore. Sofia Kenin is here to stay.
The 20-year-old American continued her surprising run in Toronto by punching her ticket to the semi-finals with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory over World No. 7 Elina Svitolina. Kenin has now won all four quarter-finals she has played in this season. On two of those occasions, she actually went on to win the event (Hobart & Mallorca). She will now face Canadian Bianca Andreescu in the semis at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.
Svitolina got off to the perfect start on Friday afternoon. She converted her first break point of the match in the opening game to grab the early advantage. She would go up a double break in the American’s very service next game, despite having to play through six deuces and three break points.
But Kenin would come alive late in the first set. Trailing 4-0, the American managed to win five of the next six games to level the set – capping off this run with a powerful two-hand forehand winner. After both players held serve to force a tiebreak, Kenin tallied consecutive mini-breaks thanks to a perfectly placed cross-court winner, followed by a delicate drop shot. She would hold on from there, winning seven of the nine points in the tiebreaker.
In the second set, Kenin’s versatility and resilience was on full display. Looking to avoid going down a break, the World No. 29 climbed out of a 15-40 hole by saving two break points highlighted by a beautiful lob shot winner. Kenin would then hold serve in a near identical fashion in her next service game. This time preventing Svitolina from converting two break point chances in order to hold at 2-2.
At the same time, unlike her Ukrainian counterpart, Kenin made the most of the opportunities. With the set tied at 2, the American converted on her only break point of the set by winning four straight return points to jump in front 3-2. The World No. 29 would save a total of seven break points in the second set, en route to winning the match.
This victory is one of many big ones over the last few months for Kenin. Earlier in the week, the 20 year old defeated the reigning World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the second round. And at this year’s French Open, she managed to beat 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the third round.
Next up for Kenin, she’ll face Andreescu in the semis. The American has met the Canadian on three occasions in her career – having lost two of three meetings. The most recent took place at the Miami Open in March, which Bianca won in straight sets.