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Kenin vs Schmiedlova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Rising Kenin goes for her first WTA title in Hobart

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 11 Jan 2019
  • Sofia Kenin faces Anna Schmiedlova in the final of the Hobart International on Saturday
  • Kenin vs Schmiedlova is live from Hobart at 1pm local/2am GMT
Sofia Kenin (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Can rising star Sofia Kenin claim her first WTA Tour title as she faces Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the Hobart International final?


Sofia Kenin has reached her first WTA final without dropping a set but can she overcome Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and lift the trophy at the Hobart International?

Kenin, who turned 20 in November and was a US Open junior champion in 2016, is aiming to become the first American champion at the International-level event since Amy Frazier in 2004. 
The Russian-born American reached the third round of the US Open in 2017 before losing to Maria Sharapova and worked hard in 2018 to carve out a niche on the WTA Tour after starting it just outside the top 100. She did that well, starting with a quarterfinal appearance in Auckland and going on to make the semifinals of Mallorca – where she scored her first win over a top-10 player as she took down top seed Caroline Garcia – and Quebec City. 

Kenin also reached the third round of the Miami Open, where she beat Daria Kasatkina, the third round of the US Open and the last 16 at the Wuhan Open where Julia Goerges were among her victims, as well as picking up an ITF $60k title to finish the year ranked exactly 50 places than she had began it – at world no. 52. 

Kenin started 2019 with a win over fourth seed Petra Martic at the ASB Classic last week before losing to Viktoria Kuzmova in three sets in the second round, but she has been on formidable form in Hobart, ousting top seed Garcia in the first round before going on to beat Ons Jabeur and seeded veterans Kirsten Flipkens and Alize Cornet to make her very first final – all without dropping a set. 

She now has a chance to claim her first WTA title before moving on to the Australian Open where she is due to face qualifier Veronika Kudermetova in the first round, but must contend with the more experienced Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Saturday.


Schmiedlova first came to widespread attention when she beat Venus Williams in the second round of the French Open in 2014, going on to win her first two WTA Tour titles in 2015 in Katowice and Bucharest and reached an additional final at the Rio Open, all at International level, reaching a career high of world no. 26 the same season. Unfortunately she struggled badly in 2016, winning just eight of the 37 matches she played and plummeting to world no. 226 by the time the season was over. 

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
The Slovakian has never really recovered. She spent 2017 on the ITF Tour, winning two $25k and an $80k event as she pulled her ranking back up to world no. 137, and broke back into the top 100 last spring after winning a surprise title at the WTA International event in Bogota where the highest-ranked player she faced was world no. 76 Ana Bogdan. Schmiedlova would make two more WTA quarterfinals before season’s end as well as the semifinals of a $100k in Budapest, but it’s all been a far cry from the top 30. 

Defeated by Wang Yafan in the first round of Shenzhen last week, Schmiedlova came to Hobart with low expectations by her own admission and had to battle through three sets with Evgeniya Rodina in the first round before ousting eighth seed Alison van Uytvanck. Schmiedlova went on to beat Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets before securing a 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-2 victory over an erratic Belinda Bencic in the semifinals.

‘I was very happy with the way I played in those last few games,’ Schmiedlova said. ‘I think I improved a bit on my serve, and just tried to be focused on every point. I think that third set was really good, better than the first for me.’

Schmiedlova and Kenin have played once before, in qualifying for New Haven last summer when Kenin won in fairly tight straight sets. Experience is on Schmiedlova’s side, as are certain tactical considerations – she’s got bigger groundstrokes than Kenin, but the 20-year-old is a tremendous scrapper with a champion’s attitude who is constantly improving her game. If she can handle the nerves of appearing in her first WTA final, Kenin should be the champion in Hobart on Saturday.

Kenin vs Schmiedlova tennis is live from Hobart on Saturday at 1pm local/2am GMT 

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Kenin vs Schmiedlova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Rising Kenin goes for her first WTA title in Hobart

Sofia Kenin vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova live streaming, preview and predictions for the WTA Hobart International final on Saturday 12 January: Kenin is into her first final without dropping a set but can she lift the trophy?

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