March 8, 2020 / 5:33 PM / 22 days ago

Kenin beats Friedsam to land second title of 2020 in Lyon

(Reuters) - Top seed Sofia Kenin won the inaugural Lyon Open with victory over unseeded German Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-2 4-6 6-4 in Sunday’s final and became the first player on the WTA tour to win two trophies in 2020.

Kenin, the new Australian Open champion, came into the tournament with a point to prove having not won a match in either Dubai or Qatar last month but the 21-year-old found herself pushed to three sets for the fourth consecutive round.

“It’s such a tough tournament. I’d like to congratulate Anna... great tournament, great match. It could have gone either way,” Kenin said at the trophy presentation.

“You’ve come back from injury and you’re doing well and I wish you all the best for your upcoming tournaments,” she added, referring to the two shoulder surgeries Friedsam has undergone in recent years.

Friedsam, in her second career final and her first since 2015 before injuries saw her fall outside the top 350 in the rankings, could not live with Kenin in the opening set as the American won 81 percent of her first serve points.

Kenin hit 29 winners but suffered with 42 unforced errors compared to her opponent’s 21, which helped give Friedsam a lifeline and a way back into the contest in the second set.

But Kenin regrouped in the final set, earning the double break to serve for the title and clinched the win on her third championship point when she smashed a looping return at the net past the German.

It was the fifth title of Kenin’s blossoming career after her three triumphs last year in Hobart, Mallorca and Guangzhou.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Chadband

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