Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin misses semi-final spot in Abu Dhabi

<p>Sofia Kenin will now look ahead to defending her Australian Open title</p>

Sofia Kenin will now look ahead to defending her Australian Open title

(SIPA USA/PA Images)
21:03pm, Mon 11 Jan 2021
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American Sofia Kenin has been knocked out of the quarter-finals at WTA’s Women's Tennis Open in Abu Dhabi.

The Australian Open champion lost 2-6 6-2 6-0 to Maria Sakkari of Greece.

Kenin, who is currently the world No 4, has won their two previous encounters but fell short in reaching the semi-finals as she prepares to defend her grand slam title next month. 

Sakkari said afterwards: "Beating these players this week it means a lot.

“I'm playing players that I've never played, like [Garbine Muguruza] yesterday, so I have a better idea if I play them again. So in general it gives me a lot of confidence starting the year like that and I'm super happy to travel to Australia with some good matches with me.”

Elsewhere, world No10 Aryna Sabalenka extended her 13 match-winning streak to book her spot in the semis. 

She overcame Elena Rybakina 6-4 4-6 6-3 and will next face Sakkari.

Unseeded player Veronika Kudermetova of Russia won 5-7 6-3 7-6(3) against No 2 seed Elina Svitolina to seal her spot in the semis.

Similarly, unseeded player Marta Kostyuk also picked up a victory against Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo where she won 0-6 6-1 6-4 to reach the semi-final.

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