You possibly can be forgiven for pondering reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin was short-changed in 2020.
The 22-year-old broke via for her maiden Grand Slam win in Melbourne final 12 months, defeating Garbine Muguruza in three units within the closing, and appeared on the cusp of an unimaginable breakout season.
However one after the other, tournaments had been both rescheduled, delayed or binned altogether, robbing her of alternatives to maintain that Melbourne momentum going.
However the younger American does not really feel like there’s any “unfinished enterprise” from a truncated season final 12 months. As an alternative of dwelling on what may have been, the world No. four stated she’s feeling match and is able to defend her Australian Open crown.
“I want there have been extra tournaments final 12 months … I did all the pieces I may to get myself in kind. [But] I do not assume I’ve unfinished enterprise from , I believe final 12 months was meant to be,” she instructed the media on Thursday.
“It was meant to be that quantity of tournaments and I used to be capable of have some nice success final 12 months. This 12 months is a brand new 12 months.”
However the brand new 12 months additionally brings added expectation for the defending champ, who says she’s been searching for the recommendation of an eight-time Melbourne victor forward of this 12 months’s match.
“I’ve talked to Novak Djokovic and requested him to assist me out [with the pressure of being the defending champion]. Clearly he is achieved it so many instances and is a superb participant … getting some recommendation from him can be nice.”
Nearing the top of her obligatory 14-day quarantine in Melbourne, Kenin stated she has been fortunate sufficient to have the ability to practice outdoors for 5 hours a day, admitting she hasn’t had a break day since arriving in Australia in an try to remain match forward of the primary even beginning on Feb. 8.
“I really feel like I am in kind. I had a protracted preseason, somewhat bit longer preseason than I often have. I labored on some issues, and I positively really feel like I am in kind,” she stated.
“I am fortunately capable of observe, I’ve had virtually two weeks with no break day, so it is good. I had a match in Abu Dhabi in order that positively helped with match play – I really feel prefer it was a very good run, quarterfinals. I am unable to complain, I really feel like I’ve bought matches below my belt and I positively really feel like I am in kind.”