Sofia Kenin said it was difficult to cope with the pressure to defend a Grand Slam title for the first time.
Published: February 06, 2021 18:52 |
Last updated: February 6, 2021 6:52 p.m.
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MELBOURNE: Sofia Kenin admitted on Saturday that she needs to keep her emotions in check as she prepares to defend her Australian Open title after leaving the pitch in tears as she knocked out of a warm-up event.
The number four in the world is back at the scene of her breathtaking Grand Slam breakthrough, in which she defeated Garbine Muguruza in three sets to win her first major title last year .
However, Kenin made a difficult return to Melbourne Park with a straight set from Muguruza on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Yarra Valley Classic when battling a left groin injury.
The 22-year-old admitted to being « very nervous » at the beginning of the week and she had tears in her eyes after losing 6-2, 6-2 to the Spaniard.
« I’ve obviously not been doing that well Mentally prepared. Obviously, I was a little sad open.
« I have to prepare for the Australian Open and figure out how to deal with my emotions there. »
Kenin said it was difficult to cope with the pressure for the first time to defend a Grand Slam title.
« I just prepare physically and mentally and I know that I have to be physically involved in my game, my movement and everything, » she said.
« Mentally I have to deal with my emotions and understand whoever I am going to play, they will obviously play without pressure, which is expected.
« You will probably play better against me so I have to try somehow to manage my nerves And stick to my schedule Of course I would like to defend him. «
Kenin’s title defense begins against the wildcard Maddison Inglis from Australia, but she took the liberty of taking a closer look at other potential opponents.
» I’m obviously looking pretty far up front … I think up to four rounds, « she said. » I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but I see who I’d rather play or not. «
And after spending a year because of the Pandemic had played in mostly empty stadiums, she said she was « super excited » to have fans in Melbourne, where up to 30,000 a day are allowed.
« I obviously missed the fans, » she said. It was a huge burden for me not to play with them. Knowing you will be here is just something special. «
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