Sofia Kenin stormed into the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career with an impressive 6-4 6-4 success over Ons Jabeur, ending the Tunisian’s historic run at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Kenin saved six of the seven break points she faced during the 92-minute tussle, to record her third tour-level victory against Jabeur. She awaits world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals.
“It feels really good. I'm super excited for it. I think overall I played really good. I tried to handle the nerves. Obviously nerves coming into this match. I think I did a really good job handling myself,” Kenin said.
The only American to make it through to the women’s quarterfinals, from a tournament high 22 that started the main draw, the Moscow-born Kenin produced a convincing performance, watched on by Russian ex-world No.1 and Australian Open 2009 runner-up Dinara Safina in her box.
“I think she’s a great talent. I really enjoy watching her play, it’s fun to watch the way she fights. She plays very smart,” Safina told ausopen.com after the match. The retired Russian exchanges texts with Kenin on Instagram from time to time and was pleased to receive an invite to her box for Tuesday’s bout.
The 25-year-old Jabeur was looking to become the first Arab in history to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam. The crafty Tunisian already made history this fortnight in Melbourne, becoming the first Arab woman to make a Grand Slam fourth round, and quarterfinal.