Tennis: Kenin ends losing streak to win in Lyon

In a photo taken Feb 18, 2020, Sofia Kenin of the US returns the ball to Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina during the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, at the Dubai Tennis Stadium in the United Arab Emirates. PHOTO: AFP

LYON (AFP) - Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to win the inaugural Lyon WTA event on Sunday (March 8).

American Kenin, the tournament top seed, took one hour and 49 minutes to beat her 136th-ranked German opponent. The victory will lift Kenin to fourth in the women's rankings on Monday.

It was the 21-year-old's second tournament victory of the year and the fifth of her career. Kenin had not won a tour match since her victory in Melbourne, losing in the first round in Dubai and Doha.

In Lyon four of her five matches went to three sets. She saved a match point against Jaqueline Cristian in the second round and in her semi-final against the Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck on Saturday every set went to a tiebreak.

On Sunday, Kenin made 42 unforced errors against Friedsam, a 26-year-old who is moving back up the rankings after undergoing two shoulder surgeries.

"I'm going home with a win, which is very good." said Kenin. "I'm very happy to have won after a good week. It hasn't been easy. All the matches were very hard-fought." Kenin will now devote herself to the American leg of the tour.

"After two losses in the first round, my goal was to play enough games to prepare for the US tour tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami."

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