The 24-year-old American began her ascend through the WTA Rankings as she started the season as world no. 228. Now, Kenin is already 138th ranked player and she wants to use every chance to earn some valuable ranking points, and one of those chances was also at the 2023 Madrid Open.
In the past, Kenin played only once in Madrid and it's the only WTA 1000 event where she never managed to win a match. In her 2019 campaign, the American lost to then-second-seeded Petra Kvitova in the first round, but this year, the draw was much nicer to her.
Kenin started against Maryna Zanevska from Belgium who lost in all of her last five matches and she was entering the clay-court part of the season in far from ideal form. However, in the past two season, the Belgian player was successful on the red dirt and so Kenin had to be careful.
But the American wasn't careful. Her opponent broke her first service game, and also her second, and then also third and fourth. It wasn't even 30 minutes and former world no. 4 was losing 0-6, 0-2 and she faced almost an impossible task.
The task got even more difficult after Zanevska got another break and at 5-2, she was serving for the match. Although the 2020 Australian Open champion managed to show a peak of her past self and get one break back, she couldn't follow up on that in her next service game, resulting in a quick lost 0-6, 3-6 for the American.
And her comeback from tough injury will continue at the upcoming Italian Open, with Kenin's target surely being the Roland Garros where she played a final in 2020, losing to no other than current world no. 1 Iga Swiatek.