PARIS (Reuters) - Sofia Kenin has never won a title on clay, but the American feels like she is finding her form on the red dust after reaching the French Open semi-finals for the first time.
The fourth seed beat compatriot Danielle Collins 6-4 4-6 6-0 on Wednesday to set up a meeting with Petra Kvitova and a clash of Grand Slam champions.
It will be the second semi-final appearance at Roland Garros for Czech Kvitova, but Kenin believes she has the form to prevail, having improved since claiming the Australian Open title this year.
“I definitely feel like I have improved since Australia. I feel like I’m having a lot of matches and finding my groove. I’m enjoying, like I love playing on the clay,” Kenin told a news conference.
“I feel like I’m having a lot of confidence, I’m playing some really good tennis. I feel like I’m just playing with a lot of confidence, I’ve had some good tournaments before Paris.
“I feel like Australia definitely really gave me a big boost. I definitely feel comfortable with the slams, I feel like I can get deep.”
In order to reach her second Grand Slam final, the 21-year-old knows she will need to steady her nerves against an opponent who is nine years older and will be playing her seventh semi-final at a major.
“That’s going to be a major key. But I feel like I’m going to try to do the best I can to handle myself. And of course she’s like really tall, powerful, she has a big serve, big shots,” said Kenin, who will take part in her second Grand Slam semi-final.
“I’m just going to have to figure out a way to balance my game out. Obviously, I’m not going to overpower her but I’ve got different things I can throw in to mix things up.”
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond
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