In a match lasting almost 2 hours, the highest remaining seed on the women’s draw, Sofia Kenin came from a set down to defeat fellow countrywoman and 28th seed Jessica Pegula 4-6,6-1,6-4 in the third round of the 2021 French Open.
The match saw both players struggling with serve, but having the guts to finish the rally with a precise drop shot. Kenin was aggressive from Game 1 while Pegula was on the defensive side. The stats suggest the same. Kenin hit 48 winners, 30 more than Pegula’s 18 but also hit 41 unforced errors, 15 more than Pegula’s 26.
The World No.5 started the first set with a bang, breaking Pegula to take a 3-0 lead. Despite taking a 4-2 lead, she lost momentum and lost 4 games in a row and eventually the set 4-6. But she bounced back soon in the second set. She dominated the set, breaking Pegula upfront twice and stormed with a 4-0 lead. She broke once again and took the second set 6-1 in just 32 minutes.
The third set was very tight too. Most of the games went to deuce and could have gone either way. Both players broke each other’s serve on the opening games but Kenin got the decisive break in Game 3 and went on to serve out the set 6-4.
‘Atleast someone’s winning, just great for you US tennis’: Sofia Kenin
After the match, Kenin spoke highly for her opponent, Pegula and said that the Americans going deep in the tournaments is amazing for US tennis in general.
She said: “I mean Jesse[Pegula] is such a tough player to play. She’s playing some really great tennis. Unfortunately I had to get through but you know at least there’s Americans going through and just great for you US tennis.”
“She[Pegula] fights every point. She didn’t give up. Second set might have looked easy but every game was just a few points here and there and went my way luckily. I knew third set, it’s going to be tough and yeah I mean you can tell it was 6-4 so it was just it could have won you anyway and I’m just happy went my way.”
Kenin is playing her first GrandSlam after split with her dad, Alex Kenin as coach and is travelling without any coach in Paris this time. She was asked about the same by the interviewer to which she said that she is happy with how things are going right now.
“I’m happy with the way things are going. I just want to keep the momentum going. I’m so happy to be in the second week this year, tennis wise you know kind of went a little bit down but now it’s finally catching up to me so really happy and proud of myself,” she concluded.