2020 US OPEN – R1 preview + prediction: ??
?? (2) Sofia Kenin vs. ?? Yanina Wickmayer
All eyes will be on Sofia Kenin as she begins her 2020 US Open campaign with a first round clash against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer. Kenin stunned the tennis world when she claimed her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year. Can Kenin get off to winning start in the first major since her big triumph in Melbourne?
Kenin suffered an unfortunate first-up loss at the Western & Southern Open last week. Competing in her first tournament since the tour restart Kenin received a bye through the opening round before being defeated by Alize Cornet in straight sets. Kenin played a very erratic match, showing real signs of rust despite a strong late fightback. This will be a totally new situation for Kenin as she enters a Grand Slam event as the second seed, it will be interesting to see how the young star handles the occasion.
Yanina Wickmayer restarted her season on the European clay where she failed to get through the qualifying draw in both Palermo and Prague. Wickmayer hasn’t won a single main draw match at the tour level over the last 12 months. This isn’t great form heading into a clash with the reigning Australian Open champion.
It was Wickmayer who won the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6-3 6-3 win at the Indian Wells 125K event in 2018. A lot has changed since then, expect a very different outcome when the pair meet in New York.
On paper this looks like a mismatch, in reality it should also be a mismatch. Wickmayer brings absolutely terrible form into this event, a great first round match-up for Kenin. The American has the game to unsettle the big-hitting Wickmayer. Kenin will be able to move Wickmayer around the court and expose the Belgian’s poor movement and lack of consistency with her solid groundstrokes off both sides, coupled with a deadly drop shot, lob combination. Expect Kenin to get off to flying start here, the 21-year-old shouldn’t be dropping too many games in this one.