Defending champ Kenin: Leg will be OK for Australian Open

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Defending champion Sofia Kenin planned to go out for practice again before the Australian Open and keep treating a leg injury she said was hampering her during a loss to Garbine Murguruza in a tuneup event.

Kenin beat Muguruza in the Australian Open final last year to win her first major title. She also reached the final of the French Open in a season heavily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muguruza won the rematch 6-2, 6-2 on Friday, and Kenin walked off the court in tears.

On Saturday, Kenin said she’d been bothered by pain in her upper left leg and felt frustrated. She didn’t expect it to be a problem, though, when the Australian Open starts Monday.

“I was quite down. I wasn’t too happy with myself,” she said. “Obviously my leg wasn’t 100% as well. It was a little bit sore. That’s not an excuse at all.”

Kenin said she treated her leg for an hour before the match and also later, and now it was feeling better with time.

“It’s better, which I don’t understand. From a match, now today it’s better – thank God,” she said.

There’s been a series of injuries late this week, with star players withdrawing from matches later in some of the six tournaments crammed into the schedule this week to give players some matches after spending 14 days in quarantine.

“Everyone is using this tournament to prepare for Australian Open,” she said. “But everyone’s obviously going to be ready for Australian Open, for sure.”

Kenin will open against Australian wild-card entry Maddison Inglis either on Monday or Tuesday.