‘I was pretty frustrated the whole match,’ says Sofia Kenin as she saves match point in Lyon

WTA Tour
Sofia Kenin in action

Top seed Sofia Kenin survived a match point as she came back from the brink to reach the quarter-final of the Lyon Open, but second seed Kristina Mladenovic crashed out.

Kenin has struggled for form since winning her maiden Grand Slam, the Australian Open, at the start of February as she made first-round exits in Dubai and Doha.

However, she won her opener in Lyon in straight sets but was made to work hard for her second-round victory by qualifier Jaqueline Cristian as she won 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes.

Kenin broke the Romanian early in the first set, but a late flurry of breaks saw it go to a tie-breaker with Cristian taking the set.

The qualifier then broke in game five and found herself with a match point as she was serving for the match at 5-4, but Kenin hit back hard to break back and then broke again after holding serve.

The match ended with three consecutive breaks of serve with Kenin taking it 2-1 to win the match.

“She was playing with no pressure,” Kenin said. “She qualified, so I knew she would come out playing some really good tennis.

“Obviously I didn’t feel my game that well – I was pretty frustrated the whole match, I couldn’t find my rhythm, but I just tried to fight through. I got the win – it’s a relief and I’m happy.”

Kenin will face Oceane Dodin for a place in the semi-final after the Frenchwoman advanced when sixth seed Jil Teichmann from Switzerland was forced to withdraw.

Mladenovic from France was dumped out as she down 6-3, 6-3 against Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam while seventh seed Daria Kasatkina beat Irina Bara 6-3, 6-2 and the eighth-seeded Viktoria Kuzmova secured a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Tereza Martincova.

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