Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kenin, 17, clinches U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge

Sofia Kenin displays her trophy after winning last
week's Sacramento Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Seventeen-year-old Sofia Kenin clinched the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge on Saturday when Jamie Loeb lost in the semifinals of the $50,000 Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships.
   The American with the most singles points in two of the three tournaments participating in the Challenge -- Stockton, Sacramento and Lexington in consecutive weeks -- earns a wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open.
   The year's final Grand Slam tournament is scheduled for Aug. 29-Sept. 11 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Kenin finished with 81 points, 80 for winning last week's $50,000 Sacramento Challenger and one point for losing in the first round in Lexington.
   Grace Min, the runner-up in Sacramento, placed second with 49 points. Loeb, who fell to Arina Rodionova of Australia 7-6 (1), 6-1 on Saturday, was third with 44 points.
   Kenin will play in the main draw of the U.S. Open for the second consecutive year. She earned an automatic wild card by winning last year's USTA Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego and lost to then-No. 96 Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia 6-3, 6-1 in the first round.
   Kenin again is entered in the Girls 18 Nationals, Aug. 6-14 in San Diego. If she repeats and receives that wild card for the U.S. Open, Min will get the other one.    

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