Defending Finalist Sofia Kenin Battles Past Compatriot Jessica Pegula at French Open 2021

Published 06/05/2021, 10:17 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 5, 2021 Sofia Kenin of the U.S. reacts during her third round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


As the fourth round continues at the French Open 2021, it was Sofia Kenin up against familiar opponent Jessica Pegula. They have faced each other thrice before today’s match. Interestingly, Pegula leads the tie 2:1 so far. The match today was won by Sofia Kenin, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, which lasted for close to two hours.

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Set 1: Sofia Kenin slips when it mattered most

World No. 5 Sofia Kenin began proceedings and raced to a 3-0 lead, breaking her opponent early on. After that, both players exchanged breaks, although it was Kenin with the advantage at 4-2.

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Soon, Jessica Pegula found belief and won four games in a row, which put Kenin on the back foot and thus ended up losing the set 6-4. The set was sealed in 45 minutes.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 5, 2021, Jessica Pegula of the U.S. in action during her third round match against Sofia Kenin of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

During the set, Sofia hit 18 winners and 16 unforced errors as compared to Pegula’s eight winners and six unforced errors. The unforced errors proved costly that led her to lose the opening set.

Set 2: Sofia Kenin overcomes woes to clinch the set

The 22-year-old player began serving in the second set. She had a tough time but managed to hold serve. In the next game, she raised her level and handed Pegula the first break of the set.

Sofia won the next game, consolidating the break and sitting comfortably at 3-0. In the next couple of games, both players exchanged breaks. After 32 minutes into the set, the 2020 French Open finalist took the set 6-1 and sent the match into a decider.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 5, 2021, Sofia Kenin of the U.S. in action during her third round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Set 3: Sofia Kenin proves too strong for Jessica Pegula

In the first three games of the set, both players broke each other’s service games. After 16 minutes, Sofia consolidated the break and took a 3-1 lead.

As the match moved towards the business end, both players were feeling nervous. However, it was the former Grand Slam champion that stepped up in the crucial moments.

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Sofia Kenin will play the winner of the match between Maria Sakkari and Elise Mertens to book a place in the quarterfinals of the French Open 2021.

Watch this story: Champions!: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, And Others’ Trophy Lift at French Open

Keep calm and Kenin on 💪

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Top remaining women’s seed @SofiaKenin digs deep to reach a third straight fourth round in Paris, dispatching fellow American Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/JE9VWFMYTQ

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2021

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Rohan Kollare

1083 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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