July 26th, 2016

Florida Teen Kenin Wins USTA Pro Circuit Sacramento, Takes US Open Wild Card Lead

Adult Tennis News USTA Pro Circuit

Kenin-2016-sacramentoUnseeded Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., upset No. 2-seeded fellow American Grace Min of Boca Raton in the final of the FSP Gold River Women’s Challenger in Sacramento, Calif., 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday for her second USTA Pro Circuit title of the year.

The win put the 17-year-old amateur in the lead for the 2016 US Open Wild Card Challenge, which features three men’s and three women’s USTA Pro Circuit events, offering the top point-earners a wild card entry into the US Open.

Min took the first set before the heat, which saw temperatures hovering near 100 degrees, began to take its toll and Kenin won eight straight games, taking the second set and racing out to a 3-0 lead in the third.

“I lost a bit of energy, pretty much a little of everything — a little objective and purpose with what I was trying to accomplish in the point,” Min told tennis writer Paul Bauman. “Yeah, I lost my way.”

Kenin in her opening round ousted No. 5 seed Jovana Jaksic of Serbia, then won three-setters over Belgian Greetje Minnen and France’s Caroline Romeo. In the semifinals she handled Russian qualifier Valeriya Solovyeva 6-4, 6-4 to gain her third career USTA Pro Circuit final after losing in Gainesville, Fla., last year, and this January winning her first title in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

It was the fifth USTA Pro Circuit final this year for the streaking Min, a winner at Jackson, Miss., and Pelham, Ala., and a runner-up at Orlando, Charlottesville, Vir., and now Sacramento. The 22 year old is 8-6 career in USTA Pro Circuit finals since reaching her first in 2011.

Kenin climbed to a career-high No. 247 on the WTA rankings.

The final event on the 2016 US Open Wild Card Challenge is this week’s Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships in Lexington where the unseeded Kenin in her opening match will face No. 5 seed Hiroko Kuwata of Japan. The No. 6-seeded Min will start against American wild card Francesca Di Lorenzo.

For more info go to www.usta.com/news.