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Kenin vs Andreescu tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Both rising stars look to make second WTA final of 2019 in Acapulco

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 1 Mar 2019
  • Sofia Kenin faces Bianca Andreescu in the semifinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Friday
  • Kenin vs Andreescu is live from Acapulco on Friday at 8pm local/2am GMT
Sofia Kenin (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Two rising stars looking for their second WTA Tour final of 2019 face off in Acapulco on Friday as Sofia Kenin faces Bianca Andreescu.


Either Hobart champion Sofia Kenin or Auckland runner-up Bianca Andreescu will make their second WTA Tour final of 2019 as the two clash in the semifinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Friday.

Sofia Kenin (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Kenin is two years older than Andreescu and, at 20, is consequently a little further along in her evolution, a little higher ranked: The Russian came into the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, where she is the fifth seed, at a career-high world no. 35. 

I’ve written what feels like plenty of times already in 2019 about how determinedly Kenin climbed the rankings in 2018, making her first WTA Tour semifinals in Mallorca and Quebec City, successfully qualifying for and winning matches at tournaments like Indian Wells and Miami and representing the USA in the Fed Cup final vs the Czech Republic impressively if unsuccessfully to end the year just outside the world’s top 50. It’s always satisfying to see someone building their career by steady increments – levelling up, in gaming parlance – and that’s exactly what Kenin has been doing in 2019: Levelling up. 

The next step for the American was clearly winning a WTA Tour title, and she ticked off that accomplishment in the second week of the season when she claimed the Hobart International title, going on to push Simona Halep hard at the Australian Open and get good back-to-back wins in Dubai.

Kenin is one to watch at Indian Wells and Miami, with her ranking and her comfort level on American hard courts, and she’s on a good run in Acapulco: She may have progressed to the quarterfinals via retirements from Rebecca Peterson and Katie Boulter, but her place in the semifinals was very well earned as she came out on top of a fairly grueling encounter with Victoria Azarenka. The former world no. 1 has been struggling recently but had clearly found some form in Acapulco with wins over Danielle Collins and Tatjana Maria, and she pushed Kenin all the way, leading by breaks in all three sets and even serving for the match in the decider.

But Kenin is, quite clearly, a scrapper who loves a long and physical encounter and she kept coming back, eventually winning the last three games of the match to close out a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory which may not technically be among the biggest of her career but was one of the most impressive.


‘Honestly, I’d just fight every point,’ Kenin said afterwards, describing how she won the match. 

‘[Azarenka is] not going to give up, and I knew I had to really just play my best in order to win. She’s a former No.1 player and Grand Slam champion with so much experience.’

Bianca Andreescu (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
It’s an opponent on the other end of the experience scale who awaits Kenin in the semifinals as Bianca Andreescu of Canada contends just the second WTA Tour semifinal of her career.

Andreescu has made such a tremendous start to the season, it’s absolutely fascinating to wonder where she will be at the end of 2019. The Canadian went 40-18 in 2018, winning two ITF titles and reaching two additional finals to end the year at world no. 152; already, after two months of the 2019 season, she’s up to world no. 71 and has compiled an 18-2 win-loss record. It started with a storming run in Auckland at the ASB Classic, where Andreescu qualified for the main draw, then beat Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and Su-Wei Hsieh among others – quite a variety of opponents in terms of game style, as well as all three being so highly accomplished – before finishing runner-up to Julia Goerges. 

Andreescu went on to qualify for the Australian Open and make the second round before losing to Anastasija Sevastova, and followed that up by winning the WTA 125k title in Newport Beach, beating Eugenie Bouchard and Tatjana Maria among other opponents. Not just breaking into the top 100 but leading up to world no. 70 as a result, Andreescu beat Richel Hogenkamp and Arantxa Rus in Fed Cup and then, after a few weeks off, came to Acapulco where she has reached her second WTA Tour semifinal of 2019 without dropping a set in wins over Jil Teichmann, fourth seed Buzarnescu and seventh seed Zheng Saisai.

‘I played well, and the next match is going to be a tough one as well,’ Kenin said. ‘I’m just going to go out and play my best game.’

This will be the first WTA Tour-level meeting between Kenin and Andreescu, who did play once before at the Rancho Santa Fe ITF $125k in February 2017 – the Canadian, despite being two years younger, beat Kenin 6-3, 7-6(3). That result and scoreline is fairly reflective of how I would imagine this match-up would play out: Andreescu has a few more weapons and ways to win points than Kenin, who is at this point fundamentally a counterpuncher in the mould of Elina Svitolina. Andreescu’s tactical rawness could cost her, and Kenin will be physically fresher, but I still like the Canadian teenager’s chances to make it to her second WTA Tour International final of the season.


Kenin vs Andreescu Abierto Mexicano Telcel tennis is live from Acapulco from 8pm local/2am GMT

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Kenin vs Andreescu tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Both rising stars look to make second WTA final of 2019 in Acapulco

Sofia Kenin vs Bianca Andreescu live streaming, preview and predictions for the Abierto Mexicano Telcel semifinal match on Friday 1 March: Hobart champion Kenin takes on Auckland finalist Andreescu for Acapulco final spot

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