Sofia Kenin's resurgent 2023 season took another step on Wednesday at the Guadalajara Open AKRON, as the former World No.4 upset No.6 seed Jelena Ostapenko to reach her first WTA 1000 quarterfinal in four years.
Kenin, unseeded in Mexico, followed up her second-round win over No.12 seed Anhelina Kalinina with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Ostapenko, her fifth Top 20 win of the season and second in as many weeks. Last week, the 2020 Australian Open champion knocked off Veronika Kudermetova on her way to a runner-up showing at the WTA 500 in San Diego.
In a high-quality two-setter that lasted 1 hour and 44 minutes, Kenin hit 19 winners to just three unforced errors, as she withstood 36 winners (and nine aces) from Ostapenko's racquet to level her all-time record against the Latvian to 2-2.
Though Ostapenko only clocked 25 unforced errors herself, she proved unable to extend the match despite leading 3-0 in the second set. She also failed to convert on any of three break points in the eighth game, nor six in a seven-deuce game on Kenin's serve that ended the match.
Kenin, ranked as low as No.280 in the second week of January this year, came to Mexico ranked No.53 after her San Diego run, and is projected to return to the Top 50 as a result of her run so far this week. She last reached the quarterfinals at a WTA 1000 in back-to-back tournaments, Montreal and Cincinnati, in 2019.
"I'm playing really well. I'm super happy with the way I've adapted here," Kenin said afterwards. "It's my first time here ... the hospitality is amazing, the site is nice, and it feels like home here."
More from Guadalajara:
- Arango becomes first Colombian to make WTA 1000 quarterfinal
- By the numbers: Sakkari cruises into quarterfinals
- Trevisan stuns Jabeur; Azarenka advances
Kenin will next face Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the quarterfinals. Fernandez, the 2021 US Open finalist, eased past Emma Navarro of the United States 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday evening.
In their sole prior meeting, Kenin defeated Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of the 2020 US Open, one year before Fernandez's run to her first Grand Slam final.
Elsewhere in the top half, No.3 seed Caroline Garcia, and Kenin's fellow American Caroline Dolehide, also booked quarterfinal berths. Garcia was a 7-5, 6-4 winner over a third American, Hailey Baptiste, while Dolehide rolled in a 6-1, 6-2 upset of No.8 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.