Kenin grabs first win over compatriot Collins to make semi-finals

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Sofia Kenin achieved a first victory over fellow Floridian Danielle Collins to advance to the semi-finals of the French Open, where she will play Petra Kvitova.
  • French Open quarter-finals

  • KENIN (4) d. COLLINS 6-4, 4-6, 6-0

  • Key match stats: 37 winners and a first-serve percentage of 65 was the key to Kenin’s victory.
  • You will also learn: Victory means that Kenin will play the only other remaining seed in the semi-final in Petra Kvitova.
  • Why read this story: Kenin is the fourth seed and Australian Open champion. Can she add a second major to her resume in her breakthrough year?

The match had looked nicely poised for a hard-fought final set after Collins levelled matters. But it was Kenin who raced through the decider as her opponent seemed to struggle with injury, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

“This is really special, I’m super happy and I’m just really loving the French crowd here,” said Kenin after her victory. “I know she plays really aggressive I I knew I had to have a higher first serve percentage and play aggressive myself and take my chances and I feel like I did a great job overall.”

Interestingly it was Collins who led the head-to-head 3-0, winning all of their previous encounters on hard courts and in straight sets, most recently in Adelaide in 2020.

This time, however, it was Kenin who started the quicker, breaking Collins for an early 3-2 lead and consolidating that break. A crucial hold having saved a break point at 4-2 kept Collins’ interest in the set alive.

A code violation for coaching didn’t appear to put Kenin off her stride, however, and it was she who held onto that solitary set to take the opener 6-4.

Both players had dropped three sets on their way to the quarter-finals and now it was the older Floridian who was playing catch-up. Having lost the first set against Monica Niculescu, Collins won 12 of the last 14 games to come through and also bounced back to win deciders against Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur.

Having squandered a pair of break points at the start of the second, frustration appeared to be getting the better of Collins — who told her boyfriend and physio to move seats.

Kenin put the clamps down

Collins’ mood will not have been improved when the Australian Open champion forged the first break of the set at 3-2 and she needed an immediate response, playing her best tennis of the match to do so. Finally finding the form that had deserted her in the opening set, Collins moved to within a game of the set with a first cry of ‘come on!’

It seemed to do the trick, with Collins taking her fourth set point to level matters at a set all will another victory cry. But the exertions of the second set had taken it out of her, Kenin nipping the fightback in the bud with a double-break early in the second to lead 3-0.

Struggling with an injury problem with all the tennis played over the fortnight, Collins took a medical timeout but it didn’t improve matters when she returned, Kenin wrapping up a one-sided decider.

“I guess I like winning in three sets, I only won one match in two,” added Kenin. “Now I know it’s just going to be tough, but I’m getting the win done and I’m proud of myself.”

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