Sofia Kenin powers into Hobart semis

Former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin is two wins away from her first title in three years after coming from behind to make the semi-finals of the Hobart International.

The 24-year-old, whose battles with poor form and injury saw her ranking nosedive last year, finished with a flurry to beat Ukrainian fifth seed Anhelina Kalinina 4-6 6-3 6-1 on Thursday.

Kenin, who reached a career-high world No.4 ranking not long after her Open triumph at Melbourne Park in 2020, is currently ranked 280.

It is the American's first semi-final at WTA level or higher since her run to the final of the French Open in 2020.

"I just tried to keep on fighting. She's a tough player to play. I knew I had to hang in there," Kenin, the 2019 Hobart winner, said.

"Match after match I'm playing better and better. I hope I can keep it going."

Kenin, who needed a wildcard for entry at Hobart, said earlier this week she was starting to feel like herself again on court and somewhere near her best form.

She didn't drop a set in wins over world No.85 Lin Zhu and No.87 Maryna Zanevska in the first and second rounds respectively.

Kenin will meet Italian 21-year-old Elisabetta Cocciaretto for a place in the final.

Cocciaretto, who upset third seed Alize Cornet in round one, had a gruelling 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 quarter-final victory over sixth seeded American Bernarda Pera.

Kenin will relish the match practice ahead of a tough Australian Open first-round clash with two-time champion and world No.25 Victoria Azarenka.

American Lauren Davis will meet fellow qualifier Anna Blinkova in the other semi-final after both won their quarter-final matches in straight sets.

Russia's Blinkova upset eighth seed Yulia Putintseva 6-3 6-4, while Davis beat Chinese qualifier Xinyu Wang 6-3 6-3 at night.