Australian Open Day 13 Preview: Garbine Muguruza Set For Showdown With Newcomer Kenin - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Grand Slam

Australian Open Day 13 Preview: Garbine Muguruza Set For Showdown With Newcomer Kenin

Garbine Muguruza goes for her third Major, against a Slam final debutante.



At one stage bookmakers had the odds of these two participating in the Australian Open final at 750-1. Nevertheless, Garbine Muguruza and Sofia Kenin will lock horns on the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday for a chance to lift the title. The Spanish former world No.1 has the experience of previously playing in a major final on multiple occasions. However, the aggressively playing Kenin should never be ruled out.


Two-and-a-half years ago, Muguruza seemed on the verge of greatness. At the age of 23, she had just won her second Major at Wimbledon, having defeated Venus and Serena Williams in those championship matches. However, she would not advance beyond the fourth round at the next six Slams, and came into this event unseeded due to her drop in the rankings. But since reuniting with Conchita Martinez in the off-season, she’s been her old self again. Despite battling a virus in the first few days of this tournament, she has blown through this draw, defeating three top 10 players without dropping a set since the second round.

A year ago, Kenin was a relatively-unknown name. She started 2019 ranked outside the top 50, though she quickly made a name for herself by winning her first WTA title in the second week of January. Kenin would win three titles in total last year, while her biggest win may have been her upset of Serena Williams at the French Open. There’s nothing overly flashy or overwhelming about her game, but she doesn’t have any significant weaknesses, and is one of the WTA’s feistiest competitors. Her grit was on full display in the semifinals, when she saved set points in both sets to take out the world No.1. Sofia has dropped only one set on her path to the biggest match of her life.

Sofia Kenin (14) vs. Garbine Muguruza

Embed from Getty Images
Kenin leads their head-to-head 1-0, having defeated Muguruza in three sets on a hard court just a few months ago in Beijing. Of course Garbine has a considerable experience edge on this stage, with this being her fourth Major final. She’s faced an American in all four of her career Slam finals, though this will be the first against someone not named Williams. The forecast for Saturday evening is cool with a strong chance of rain. The heat of the last few days definitely won’t be a factor, and this may become an indoor final. That may not give either player an edge, but it should enable some quality play. Muguruza has been the better player this fortnight, and if we’re being honest, Kenin is a bit lucky to be in this championship match. She did not play well in the semifinals, due to nerves as well as the oppressive heat, and took advantage of a subpar performance from Ash Barty. Garbine has been playing with a swagger that has been missing from her game of late, but it’s back and she can be almost unstoppable when she’s in this form. She should be able to easily dictate play with her power. Muguruza is a strong favorite to win her third Major, and bring herself one US Open away from the career Grand Slam.

The journey so far

Embed from Getty Images

Muguruza ESP
Age: 26
World ranking: 32
Grand Slam titles: 2 (French Open 2016, Wimbledon 2017)
WTA titles: 7

Australian Open run so far:-
First round: beat Shelby Rogers (U.S.) 0-6 6-1 6-0
Second round: beat Ajla Tomljanovic (Australia) 6-3 3-6 6-3
Third round: beat (5) Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 6-1 6-2
Fourth round: beat (9) Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) 6-3 6-3
Quarter-final: beat (30) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) 7-5 6-3
Semi-final: beat (4) Simona Halep (Romania) 7-6(8) 7-5

Kenin USA

Age: 21
World ranking: 15
Grand Slam titles: 0
WTA titles: 3

Australian Open run so far :-
First round: beat Martina Trevisan (Italy) 6-2 6-4
Second round: beat Li Ann (U.S.) 6-1 6-3
Third round: beat Zhang Shuai (China) 7-5 7-6(7)
Fourth round: beat Coco Gauff (U.S.) 6-7(5) 6-3 6-0
Quarter-final: beat Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) 6-4 6-4
Semi-final: beat (1) Ash Barty (Australia) 7-6(6) 7-5

Grand Slam

US Open Taking A Big Risk If Tournament Goes Ahead, Warns Former Top 10 Player

Will the USTA be able to defy the odds and stage the North American grand slam as planned?



The prospect of the US Open going ahead as planned could potentially lead to ‘scandal’ occurring in the sport, according to a two-time quarter-finalist of the tournament.


Janko Tipsarevic says a ‘big question mark’ is looming over the grand slam and its intention to host the event from the last week of August. New York state, which is where the US Open takes place, is at the centre of the covid-19 outbreak in America. As of Saturday morning official figures put the number of cases at 113,700. The Billie Jean Tennis Center has recently been turned into a 350-bed facility to help cope with the outbreak.

“I wouldn’t still rule out the possibility of seeing a tennis ball being hit for the rest of 2020 but I consider the US Open a big question mark,” Tipsarevic told Sport Klub.
“I think the United States will be the hardest hit country by the coronavirus pandemic and it will be extremely hard to get the situation under control before the end of August, when the US Open is scheduled to start.”

Nevertheless, the United States Tennis Association is still not giving up their hope of staging the event as scheduled unlike other majors. The French Open has suspended their tournament to the last week of September in a hope they can still host the event this year. However, Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since 1945.

There are also questions as to how much time it will take to make the facility safe for the public after being used to treat those with the virus. The facility being used to treat those affected is the indoor training centre and not the premier Arthur Ashe stadium or other courts. Danny Zausner, who is the chief operating officer of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, insists there will minimal risk to the public should the US Open get underway in the summer.

“I can assure you that by the time people leave these two entities—and obviously we hope that’s sooner rather than later—that they will be cleaner and more meticulous than when they opened. Obviously, we’re not going to be bringing the public into these spaces until everyone is out.” Zausner told

Despite the reassurances, Tipsarevic still believes that the legal risk involving the tournament could be too high. Making a reference to Eugenie Bouchard, who onced sued the USTA after slipping over in the locker room and suffering a concussion.

“You probably remember when Eugenie Bouchard fell in the locker room a couple of years ago, sued the US Open, won the case and got compensated a few million dollars.” He said.
“Can you imagine a situation in which the tournament organizers decide to proceed with the US Open and a player contracts the coronavirus and has serious consequences. Just imagine that scandal.”

Out of the four grand slams, the US Open was the only one to take place during the first and second world wars.

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

Wimbledon Announces Cancellation As Coronavirus Continues To Affect Tennis Calendar

For the first time since World War Two, Wimbledon has been cancelled.



(@BleacherReport - Twitter)

Wimbledon has announced it has cancelled this year’s tournament due to health fears over the coronavirus. 


This is the first time since world war two that the famous grass-court tournament at SW19 has been cancelled as the coronavirus continues to impact the tennis calendar.

In a statement, Wimbledon confirmed that the next edition of the tournament will occur in 2021, “It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” they said on their website.

“The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021. Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

“Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021. We will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders.”

Speaking on the decision, All-England Club chairman Ian Hewitt admitted that health and public safety was more important than tennis right now, “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.”

“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”

As a result of today’s announcement, all grass-court tournaments in England and abroad have been cancelled as there will be no tennis until the 13th of July at the earliest.

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

Wimbledon Cancelled And Roland Garros Punished For Its Decision

German Tennis Federation vice-president Dirk Hordoff confirms Wimbledon will not take place in 2020. The decision by the FFT to postpone Paris will not stand: the other organizations are committed to fight. FFT’s president Giudicelli may have overplayed his hand



A bombshell interview by French sports newspaper l’Equipe to the Vice-President of the German Tennis Federation Dirk Hordoff has released some new details about the discussions taking place behind the scenes among top tennis executive to try and sort out the chaos created by the Covid-19 pandemic.


According to Hordoff, the grass-court season will be a write-off in 2020, with all tournaments waiting for Wimbledon to announce the cancelation of the tournament next Wednesday to make their decision official. “It’s the only decision that makes sense,” said the German executive “it is possible to play on clay later in the year, but it is not possible to have tournaments on grass in October, you can’t play on grass when it is moist”.

But the juiciest bits of the interview described with an abundance of details the reactions to the French Federation’s decision to unilaterally postpone the Roland Garros to late September (20 September – 4 October) without waiting to reach a consensus among the ATP, the WTA and the other Grand Slam tournament. “This is not the French way of doing things, it’s Bernard Giudicelli’s way of doing things”, said Hordoff. The FFT President Giudicelli reportedly forced the decision upon the other tournaments, uploading the press release to announce the decision while he was on a conference call with other tennis executives. “I believe he panicked because of the elections coming up [in February 2021] and wanted to score some points on his opponent” reported Hordoff. His decision to also cancel the qualifying tournament was intended to be a “biscuit” for the ITF President David Haggerty, since it would make the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid in November even more financially attractive to all the players who did not have the opportunity to earn money with the Roland Garros qualifying tournament. “He hoped to have the ITF on his side, but now he is alone against the rest of the world,” said Hordoff, adding that the ATP is threatening to remove the ranking points assigned to Roland Garros for both 2020 and 2021.

One manager at the FFT allegedly told Hordoff: “This decision will be his Waterloo”, alluding to Giudicelli’s birth region of Corsica, the island in the Mediterranean that also was Napoleon’s birthplace.

The idea for the remainder of the season would be to have Roland Garros some time between September and October, depending on when it is possible to start playing again and have a short clay-court season before then. The situation in New York is quite dire at the moment, so the US Open is still a question mark for the time being, explained Hordoff. “But the most important thing right now is people’s health. I believe that until we have a vaccine or a cure it will be difficult to start again. Can you imagine all the people travelling from tournament to tournament, all the players, the fans, the coaches, the physios, the referees? There are more important things than tennis to think about”.

“Financially tennis will be all right – concluded Hordoff – I don’t see any of the Top 100 having problems to survive even without tennis. Of course, there may be some sponsors that will pull back their support to some tournaments, but tennis will survive. It will be different, but it will survive”.

Correction: In previous versions of the article, Dirk Hordoff was being identified as the President of the German Tennis Federation. His position has now been corrected.

Continue Reading