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By Alberto Amalfi | Saturday, June 22, 2019

 
Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin conquered second-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, fighting into her third final of the season and first grass-court title match in Mallorca.

Photo credit: Mallorca Open Facebook

Sofia Kenin earned a reputation as a rising young player claiming her first career title in Hobart.

Today, Kenin solidified her status as a contender on all surfaces.

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Kenin conquered second-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, fighting into her third final of the season and first grass-court title match in Mallorca.




Sevastova carried a 16-2 career record in Mallorca into today's first semifinal, but Kenin elevated her level in the deciding set snapping the 12th-ranked Latvian's streak of three straight Mallorca Open final appearances.

The seventh-seeded Kenin will play Belinda Bencic in tomorrow's final.

No. 3-seeded Bencic beat reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, in the second semifinal.

Empowered by her Roland Garros upset of 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams last month, Kenin has made a seamless transition from red clay to green grass.




The lawn enhances Kenin's assets: She can straddle the baseline, take the ball on the rise and change direction effectively on grass.

The 20-year-old American effectively nullified Sevastova's crafty array of angles and spins for a set and a half. Kenin was dictating pivotal rallies as she broke in the third game and eventually extended her lead to 5-3. 

Sevastova saved three set points holding in the ninth game. Kenin continued to hammer drives into the corners converting her fifth set point to snatch a one-set lead.

The second set followed a similar script as Kenin again broke in the third game and was two games from victory holding a one-set, 4-2 advantage. Sevastova answered with a four-game surge to take the second set and force a decider.

Resetting, Kenin broke twice in succession to start the third set charging out to a 4-0 lead and never looking back. Kenin has scored three Top 20 wins in the last two months defeating 14th-ranked Madison Keys in Rome, toppling 10th-ranked Serena en route to the Roland Garros fourth round and stopping 2017 Mallorca champion Sevastova today.

 

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