Kenin beats Begu, advances to Cleveland quarterfinals

Sofia Kenin, of the United States, returns during a first-round match against Camila Osorio, of Colombia, at the Citi Open tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

CLEVELAND — Sofia Kenin advanced to the quarterfinals of a WTA event for the first time since January, beating Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-2 at Tennis in The Land on Monday night.

Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, had lost eight straight matches prior to receiving a wild-card entry into the U.S. Open tuneup in downtown Cleveland. She beat qualifier Dalayna Hewitt in the first round.

The 23-year-old American converted all four break points against the fifth-seeded Begu, continuing her comeback from a series of injuries that have plagued her since claiming the title in Melbourne.

“I feel like everything is slowly falling into place and gives me some confidence,” said Kenin, who is ranked No. 415 in the world. “I’m super happy with the way I played and I’m proud of myself.”

Begu, a Romanian ranked No. 34, never led in the match. Kenin won the final three games in each set, taking a 5-2 lead in the second with a drop shot that left Begu visibly frustrated.

“I served pretty well and I played my ‘good game’ that I wanted to play today,” Kenin said. “Irina is a very good player, so I had to do that to come out on top.”

Kenin will next face either top seed Barbora Krejcikova or Bernarda Pera.

Seventh-seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich rallied past Sara Sorribes Tormo 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and eighth-seeded Alizé Cornet defeated Clara Tauson 6-3, 7-6 (1) in other round-of-16 matches.

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