American teenager Sofia Kenin scored the first Top 10 victory of her career, upsetting top seed Caroline Garcia to reach the last four at the Mallorca Open.
WTA Staff
June 22, 2018

MALLORCA, Spain - American teenager Sofia Kenin's breakout week at the Mallorca Open continued in the quarterfinals, as the 19-year-old scored her first-ever Top 10 victory over top seed Caroline Garcia, 6-3, 6-3. 

The 19-year-old was contesting her third-ever match against a Top 10 player, with all three played this season, and scored her best-ever win in terms of ranking thus far in her professional career over the World No.6.

Kenin was unable to see a one-set lead through to victory against Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals at the ASB Classic to begin the year, and against Petra Kvitova at the Miami Open in the spring, but hardly took her foot off the gas en route to upsetting the former champion on Friday.

Read more: Top 100 Club: Sofia Kenin shares her can-do spirit

"I'm very happy. She's a great player. It was a really tough match and I knew I had to fight until the end. I knew I was playing well and I had a lot of confidence," Kenin said after the match. "I had to fight but I knew I could do it."

The World No.91 broked the Frenchwoman's serve three times in the match, losing her own just once over the course of one hour and 21 minutes.

After not even facing a break point in the opener, the qualifier rebounded well to her lone loss of serve in the match as she fell behind 2-0 in the second set, winning five straight games and six of the last seven to seal her first straight sets victory in the main draw this week.

Kenin held off a comeback from Garcia and her own nerves in the final game, where she double faulted twice in a row to hand the top seed her first of two break points in the game overall.

However, timely serving from Kenin - a feature of a match in which she served seven aces - helped push her over the finish line and into new territory on the WTA. 

"I started getting a little nervous closing the match, but I was able to win, so that's important," Kenin said. "I love grass a lot, so I know this is my surface. I got a lot of match play [coming out of the qualifying]...but it's good match play, and I won a lot of good matches." 

It was a clean match from both players off the ground, and though Garcia's aggression meant she nearly doubled Kenin's total of winners (20 to 11) and unforced errors (16 to 8) in the match, it was the American who was clutch when it mattered most. 

Having largely taken care of her serve over the course of nine games, the World No.91 won nearly 70% of the points played on her delivery overall, and converted four of the eight break points she held in the match.

The teenager will be in uncharted waters regardless of who she faces in the semifinals, but will take on the winner of two 30-somethings in No.7 seed Lucie Safarova and Germany's Tatjana Maria.