Sofia Kenin Stuns Ons Jabeur in Grueling RomeOpen Upset

Sofia Kenin defeats No. 8 seed Ons Jabeur 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in a 2-hour 17-minute match at the Rome Open. This marks Kenin's first Top 10 win since last year's Wimbledon and a significant turnaround in her season.

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Nitish Verma
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Sofia Kenin Stuns Ons Jabeur in Grueling RomeOpen Upset

Sofia Kenin Stuns Ons Jabeur in Grueling RomeOpen Upset

American tennis player Sofia Kenin pulled off a stunning upset at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia (Rome Open) on Friday, defeating No. 8 seed Ons Jabeur 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in a grueling 2-hour 17-minute match.

Kenin, ranked No. 58 in the world, showcased her shot-making, power, and consistency to secure her first Top 10 win since last year's Wimbledon, when she stunned Coco Gauff. The 2020 Australian Open champion has struggled to find consistency in her game since failing to defend her title in January, but this win marks a significant turnaround in her season.

After the match, Kenin expressed her satisfaction with her performance, saying, "I'm feeling great, happy with the way I played. Definitely, I feel like I've come a long way. It's going in the right direction. I feel like the hard work is paying off. The fact that I'm still fighting."

"With the intensity that she brings out on court, the fact that she's so consistent, I think Iga is doing a tremendous job and I really admire her." The American expressed her love for the Rome Open's surface and courts, adding, "I love the surface, the courts here. They're slow, which suits my [favorite] conditions. There's no altitude, which I love, so that definitely helps me."

This marks Kenin's second straight year of pulling off an upset at the Rome Open and her sixth main-draw win at the tournament, her most in a WTA 1000 event. She has now won five of six WTA main-draw meetings with Jabeur and back-to-back matches for the first time since last September.

In other matches, American Danielle Collins advanced to the third round after Anna Blinkova retired with a left ankle injury. Collins, who has announced her retirement at the end of the year, currently stands at No. 4 in the Race to the WTA Finals. Kenin will face the winner of the match between Slovakian qualifier Rebecca Sramkova and No. 26 seed Katie Boulter of Great Britain in the next round.

Jabeur'searly exitfrom the Rome Open is a significant blow to the Tunisian player, who became the first Arab and Tunisian to win a WTA 1000 title in 2022. Struggling with a chronic knee injury this season, Jabeur currently has a losing record for the year, a stark contrast to her impressive performance ahead of last year's Wimbledon final.