Done crying after loss, Kenin keen to look at brighter side

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sofia Kenin said she was already done crying over her one-sided loss to Elise Mertens in the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Monday and the second seed will instead focus on the positives from her campaign at her home Grand Slam.

Sep 7, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Sofia Kenin of the United States walks off the court after losing to Elise Mertens of Belgium on day eight of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Australian Open champion Kenin, 21, had not dropped a set, won 26 of her 28 service games and was the highest surviving seed at Flushing Meadows coming into Monday’s match against an opponent she had defeated both times in their previous meetings.

But an error prone performance under the lights at the Arthur Ashe Stadium court from Kenin meant 16th seed Mertens barely felt any pressure during a 6-3 6-3 win in less than 75 minutes.

“I did better at U.S. Open than I usually do, fourth round, that’s better,” Kenin, who lost in the third round in the previous three editions at Flushing Meadows, told reporters in a video conference.

“This is not funny, but somehow you have to joke around. I’m going to take the positives from here, try to forget this match. Yeah, I cried after already. Just trying to hold it back right now. Not happy about that match, but we’ll see.”

Kenin lifted her first Grand Slam trophy in Melbourne at the start of the year and then added a WTA title in Lyon, days before the circuit came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She had largely flown under the radar at the U.S. Open amid her more illustrious compatriots like Serena Williams.

The Russian-born Kenin was already looking forward to the claycourt swing in Rome and the French Open in Paris, and said she will leave for Europe in a few days.

“I hate losing,” she said. “Obviously it’s gotten better since I’m not losing that much.

“I guess I’ll take a few days just to finally go back on the court and everything. Tonight is not going to be such a great night because obviously I’m pretty bummed about what happened.

“I had a good tournament here. I’m real happy with the way I played. I feel like my confidence is there. Still nothing has changed. I’m excited to head over to the clay.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Richard Pullin