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An emotional Sofia Kenin says she “can’t really handle the pressure” to defend the Australian Open champion after she was eliminated in the second round at Melbourne Park

The fourth Kenin lost on Thursday afternoon in the Margaret Court Arena in just over an hour with 6: 3, 6: 2 against Kaia Kanepi

It was played by the Estonian who was not seeded, who slammed 10 aces – including one on the match point – to win on her 12th Australian Open appearance to advance to the last 32

Kenin is the highest seed in the women’s and men’s draw eliminated from this year’s tournament

Her loss also marks the earliest departure of a defending champion since Jennifer Capriati left the tournament in the first round in 2003

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Kenin couldn’t hold back tears as she spoke less than an hour after her loss to Kanepi ahead of her post-game media conference

She said she had too much expectation to play as the reigning champion at the Australian Open

“I obviously had the feeling that I wasn’t there 100 percent physically and mentally Obviously, everything feels really bad, it’s not good

“I know I couldn’t really handle the pressure I’m obviously not used to it, so now all I need to do is figure out how to play at the level I was playing

“She played really well, she had some good shots, she obviously had a good plan against me, I just couldn’t get my shots out”

Kenin was 14 Seeds when she stormed her first big title in Melbourne Park a little over 12 months ago

She stunned world number one and local favorite Ash Barty in the semi-finals before beating two-time main winner Garbiñe Muguruza in the tournament decision

Like every player on the WTA Tour, Kenin’s 2020 season was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but she reached the French Open final and hit a career high of four in the world

Kenin said it was easier to get under the radar at the Australian Open last year because it wasn’t a favorite to win the title

“I obviously wanted to do well I knew I was playing well I had a good run and everything. It’s not like I’m 100th and suddenly I won. I was … Top 20 or so I remember not even

“I just didn’t put as much pressure on myself as I did this year. I put a lot of pressure on myself this year I obviously felt like I should do well “

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Sofia Kenin, kaia kanepi

World News – AU – Sofia Kenin admits to struggling with pressure as Australian Open title defense ends in round two

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-11/australian-open-sofia-kenin-admits-to-struggling-with-pressure/13146284