American superstar Sofia Kenin shot to the top of the Porsche Race to Shenzhen leaderboard after her stunning run to the Australian Open title. Ahead of the Race resumption in August, she features in the first of wtatennis.com’s series spotlighting the leading contenders.

By David Kane

Sofia Kenin ended her breakthrough 2019 season with a surprise appearance at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, and is currently in pole position to make a triumphant return as the Australian Open champion leads the year’s Porsche Race to Shenzhen leaderboard.

Kenin won her first three WTA titles last year, earning her a berth at the Hengquin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuai and an an alternate spot in Shenzhen. The 21-year-old made the most of the opportunity by pushing defending champion Elina Svitolina through two tight sets after replacing US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

2020 Lyon Highlights: Kenin captures title over Friedsam

Finishing just outside the Top 10, Kenin carried that momentum into the new decade, soaring to Grand Slam glory in Melbourne with back-to-back wins over World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and two-time major champion Garbiñe Muguruza.

As the tour was gearing up for the Sunshine Swing, Kenin appeared to be hitting her stride once more, capturing her second title of the year at the the inaugural Open 6ème Sens – Métropole de Lyon.

It was soon after that the tours were suspended due to a global pandemic and subsequent COVID-19 concerns, time Kenin took to return home and unwind from her whirlwind first quarter, becoming one of the first guests on Tennis United to discuss quarantine.

Kenin was back on the courts last week to play the Credit One Bank Invitational in Charleston, typically home to the Volvo Car Open. The American joined countrywoman and doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands to headline Team Peace, winning her first match in emphatic style over Alison Riske.

Though she lost her second singles clash against Madison Keys, she and Mattek-Sands went undefeated in doubles to lead Team Peace to victory over Team Kindness, 26-22

Kenin is slated to lead the tour when play is scheduled to resume later this summer, where she’ll return to her home Grand Slam at the US Open among the favorites to take home the trophy.

Check out the provisional schedule here, and stay tuned for more spotlights on Porsche Race to Shenzhen contenders.

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