World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will take the court Tuesday in Toronto for her first appearance since having her 15-match win streak ended by Alison Riske in the round of 16 at Wimbledon. Across the net stands Sofia Kenin, who has climbed inside the Top 30 this season thanks to 28 match wins and two WTA crowns.
On paper, Barty has the advantage of holding a 3-0 record against the 20-year-old, including two wins this season。 However, Kenin pushed the Australian to three sets in their most recent contest—a fourth-round clash at the French Open—where Barty ultimately went on to capture her first major title。
The top seed has a lot in her arsenal to work with: she mixes up her serve well and her backhand slice is a tremendous weapon for sustaining patience on the baseline and creating pathways to come forward. Finishing points at net is an asset not many players carry on the WTA, one Barty will want to maximize.
For Kenin, she’ll need to take risks when the right opportunities present themselves, as Barty will throw plenty of different changeups her way。 The American, who made fine usage of her drop shot at Roland Garros, must also keep her emotions at bay, having gone off the rails in the last set these two played in Paris to get bageled。
Kenin holds the benefit of securing one victory already in Toronto, a solid 6-4, 6-3 win over Hsieh Su-wei, but look for Barty to advance in a competitive, three-set encounter.
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