American Kenin makes Hobart WTA final

Ethan James
American youngster Sofia Kenin is gunning for her first ever WTA title at the Hobart International

Big-hitting American youngster Sofia Kenin is on the cusp of a maiden WTA title after notching another impressive scalp at the Hobart International.

The 20-year-old will play unseeded Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in Sunday's final after dispatching sixth seed Alize Cornet in straight sets on Friday.

World No. 56 Kenin, who almost halved her ranking in a breakthrough 2018, took an hour and 19 minutes to beat Cornet 6-2 6-4.

She hasn't dropped a set at Hobart and knocked out top seed and world No. 19 Caroline Garcia in the opening round.

"I've beaten a lot of top players this past week, so I'm really happy with the win," Kenin said.

Cornet battled an abductor injury she woke up with on the morning of Friday's match and will now turn her attention to Australian Open preparation.

"I knew it would be hard to play but still I wanted to give it a chance. She was just playing better, I was just not 100 per cent," Cornet said.

"I think I'm playing on Tuesday, so I think I'll have enough time to recover."

Russian-born Kenin, into her maiden singles final after last week winning the Auckland doubles title with Eugenie Bouchard, was down 0-3 in the second set but levelled before breaking and serving out the match.

Earlier on Friday, Schmiedlova caused an upset of her own by beating former world No. 7 Belinda Bencic.

The frustrated Swiss ace was in tears throughout the match, as world No.77 Schmiedlova reeled off the final four games.

"I didn't expect it all. Especially against Belinda. I've known her since I was a child. She's a really good friend of mine. It wasn't an easy match," Schmiedlova said.

The 24-year-old, chasing her fourth career title, cracked the top 30 four years ago and is building her ranking again after falling to 273 in 2017.

"I'm very happy that I can play big tournaments again and I appreciated it more now," she said.