Kenin loses Abu Dhabi Open quarter-final

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Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin has been eliminated from the season-opening Abu Dhabi Open in the quarter-finals after a three-set loss to Maria Sakkari.

Kenin won the opening set but faded as ninth-seeded Sakkari won 2-6 6-2 6-0.

It was only Kenin's third loss in 14 career tour quarter-final matches.

The Greek player hit nine aces against none for Kenin and 23 winners to the American's eight.

Sakkari's next opponent is fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who made it 13 tour wins in a row by beating Elena Rybakina 6-4 4-6 6-3 for a place in the semi-finals.

Sabalenka finished last season with titles at the Ostrava and Linz indoor tournaments and has started 2021 with four wins in Abu Dhabi.

She has won three of the four matches she has played against Sakkari, all of them on hard courts.