DOHA, Qatar - Sofia Kenin hasn't had things all her own way in the month since lifting the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at the Australian Open, her maiden major title.
"It's really frustrating," she said after a 6-3, 7-6(4) defeat to Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska at the Qatar Total Open. "Obviously coming off of Melbourne where I felt I was playing the best tennis of my life coming down to playing, not the worst tennis, but not playing the tennis I want to be playing."
Kenin made quick work of Anastasija Sevastova in her first match since winning Down Under at United States' Fed Cup qualifying tie against Latvia, but has since lost three straight matches - albeit to quality opposition in 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, an on-fire Elena Rybakina, and Yastremska, who beat Kenin at Wimbledon last summer.
"She played really well," she said of Yastremska. "I just feel like I can't find my game, I'm not playing the way I want to be playing, so it's pretty frustrating right now.
"Creds to her, she played well, came up with some good shots at those important moments. She just played better at important moments and I just made too many unforced errors, I just felt pretty flat footed the whole match."
The 21-year-old has maintained a busy schedule since scoring back-to-back wins over World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza in a thrilling three-set final, playing singles and doubles at Fed Cup, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships - where she made the quarterfinals with fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands - and here in Doha, winning a match with Belinda Bencic against Barty and talented doubles specialist Demi Schuurs on Monday.
"I felt yesterday in doubles I played well, me and Belinda had a good match against Ash and Demi, obviously I know it's doubles, it's different than singles, but I thought I, I felt good, I thought that I was going to be able to play like that, but obviously not the case.
"I didn't get a break, I just kept going. Honestly, it's just finding my rhythm again. I just feel like I'm completely out of it."
There have been bright moments for the youngster. Off the court, she had the chance to reunite with Kim Clijsters; as a child, Kenin famously toured the Miami Open with the former World No.1, who returned to tennis in Dubai after over seven years away from the game.
"She was really happy for me and, because we talked, I know her, she toured me around in Miami so I was really happy. And we talked a little bit about the video and the one that came out on WTA and she was saying she got chills seeing that. I almost had tears, so I just watched it once, I was done."
Kenin is next scheduled to play the inaugural Open 6ème Sens in Lyon ahead of appearances at the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open, her first tour-level events at home since winning the Australian Open.