Sofia Kenin, the number 14 seed from the United States will face a tough test when she faces in-form Chinese Shuai Zhang in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open on Friday, January, 24. The match is yet to be scheduled. You can find the Sofia Kenin v Shuai Zhang live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Sofia Kenin v Shuai Zhang Head to Head
Kenin and Zhang have played once before, and it was the experienced Chinese who win in their sole meeting in Indian Wells in 2018.
Kenin Eyeing For Grand Slam Breakthrough
Sofia Kenin is one match away from equaling her best appearance at Grand Slam level and few could begrudge the fact that she is one of the contenders to lift the Daphne Akhurst trophy at the end of fortnight.
Kenin has enjoyed a spectacular rise on the women’s tour. Having started the 2019 season ranked outside the world’s top-50, she announced herself to tennis world with a series of eye-catching performances and results.
The self-assured 21-year-old picked up three singles titles (the most by any American player in 2019), two doubles titles and finished runner-up on one occasion. She was also responsible for ending Serena Williams’ Roland Garros campaign, upsetting the 23-time Major winner in straight sets in the second round of the French Open.
Kenin could set a potential rematch against Williams in the quarterfinals, but she hasn’t progressed that far at any of the four Grand Slams. So if the young American makes the second week, it would have to be a first.
Zhang Looking To Complete An American Three-Peat
Shuai Zhang had one foot out of the tournament when she played Sloane Stephens in the first round. She had been outplayed by her American opponent from the baseline for a set and a half. But Zhang inflicted a severe case of deja vu on the No.24 seed and battled back to win 2-6 7-5 6-2.
It was almost a mirror result of their match which happened at exactly the same stage in 2018, with Stephens failing to serve out the match yet again.
The Chinese No.2 is fresh from reaching the final of Hobart last week and that seems to have been the catalyst of her run to the third round in Melbourne. She knocked out a second American in round two, beating the fast-rising Catherine McNally in straight sets in challenging windy conditions.
Zhang confessed on how difficult it was to position her shots against the wind in that match and it will be intriguing to see how she will fare against a third American opponent this week.
The 31-year-old won the Australian Open doubles title last year alongside Sam Stosur – a triumph she says gave her improved confidence to excel at major events.
Sofia Kenin v Shuai Zhang Predictions & Tips
Zhang has recorded two unlikely victories this week against Stephens (who served for the match) and then McNally. Kenin will certainly be a more daunting task. Not only is the Russian-born American ranked higher than her two counterparts, but she is also in better form to edge out this contest.
Tip: Kenin to win in three sets: 11/4 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)