Like Sharapova, Kenin was born in Russia along with also moved to the United States when she was a young girl. Those similarities were not lost on Kenin, who labeled Sharapova as one of her favorite players.
“the item’s truly exciting just to be at in which position,” Kenin said, “along with also to be playing the person I’ve always looked up to in my life.”
She has long admired, along with also tries to emulate, Sharapova’s competitive drive along with also aggressive style, her ability to dictate points. Soon she will see those traits up close in front of the biggest audience of her life, perhaps even at Ashe, on Friday.
Kenin was one of several American women to win on Wednesday, including CoCo Vandeweghe, Jennifer Brady, Shelby Rodgers (who beat her fellow American Kayla Day), Nicole Gibbs, Christina McHale along with also Sloane Stephens, who upset No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, in 2 hours 42 minutes on Court 10.
along with also the dean of all American women, ninth-seeded Venus Williams, advanced to the third round which has a 7-5, 6-4 win over Oceáne Dodin at Ashe. Williams, 37, is actually inside the same half of the draw with No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza, who defeated Ying-Ying Duan, 6-4, 6-0, once tournament officials found a court for her to play on during a busy day with 87 matches.
Williams has won the U.S. Open twice, in 2000 along with also 2001, along with also some see her as a candidate to go deep into the tournament. If both she along with also Sharapova continue to win, they could face each some other in a semifinal. although neither player wanted to look in which far ahead.
“At the end of the day, there’s people who are talking about the winning along with also there are people who are actually playing the matches,” Williams said. “I need to play the match.”
While some players on the WTA Tour have expressed dismay in which Sharapova was granted a wild card into the U.S. Open despite her No. 146 ranking along with also her recent suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, Kenin is actually not among them.
“I see her as a great player,” she said. “I’m truly happy in which she’s back. She’s playing probably some of her best tennis. I have a lot of respect for her.”
Kenin is actually actually ranked higher than Sharapova — by seven spots, at No. 139 — although in which is actually because of Sharapova’s 15-month suspension. Her three-set victory over Halep on Monday was her first match in a Grand Slam event since the Australian Open in January 2016.
Sharapova celebrated in which win Monday by dropping to her knees along with also weeping. although Wednesday was more about surviving.
“I think in which’s something in which gave me confidence inside the second — was toward the end of the second set, I felt like I was the fresher player,” she said. “Going into a third set, in which’s a not bad position, or a not bad feeling, to have.”
although there is actually still rust left. The first set was patchy, especially with her serve. although Sharapova arrived on the scene with fury inside the second set along with also began to strike the ball with more authority, along with also her serve much better significantly.
She ended with 12 aces, including two inside the second set’s final game, which she won without dropping a point.
A key moment in in which set came with Sharapova serving, down by 2-3. A 10-minute, 16-point game ensued, along with also Sharapova emerged with the game, firing a service winner to end the item.
By then, the item was clear in which she would certainly not cede control, along with also Babos was showing signs of distress. She lost her serve inside the opening game of the third set, with Sharapova punishing her second serve. Babos won only 29 percent of her second serves.
Sharapova consolidated her break inside the next game, then broke again when Babos was serving at 1-3.
“There’s a certain level of ‘I know I can do in which,’” Sharapova said. “I’ve done the item before. I want to have in which feeling again. although there’s also the realistic understanding of: ‘O.K., you haven’t been in in which situation for a while. the item’s going to take a little time.’”
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