CoCo Vandeweghe, U.S. Open
CoCo Vandeweghe, of Rancho Santa Fe, during the 2017 US Open in New York. (Photo by Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire)

Fourth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova denied Sofia Kenin her first title since 2020 with a three-set victory in the singles final of the San Diego Open.

Krejcikova, 27, entered the $780,637 tournament at Barnes Tennis Center in Ocean Beach on a four-match losing streak in singles play.

The skid included an injury retirement in the second round of Wimbledon and a first-round loss in straight sets to Lucia Bronzetti at the US Open.

The native of the Czech Republic overcame two service breaks to win Saturday’s first set 6-4, before dropping the second 2-6 and taking the third 6-4.

Kenin, from Florida, was seeded fifth. She broke Krejcikova’s serve in the first game of the second set, saved four break points in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, then closed out the set with an ace.

There were no service breaks in the first eight games of the third set. Krejcikova, who won the 2021 French Open, was the first to face break points in the set, but overcame four to take a 5-4 lead and prevent Kenin from serving for the championship.

Both players were in the tournament thanks to wild cards in the 24-player main draw.

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who did not play in last year’s inaugural tournament. “I really want to thank them. It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova, 13th in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings entering the tournament, is expected to rise to the top 10 for the first time June 26.

She earned $120,150 for the victory while Kenin received $74,161.

“Of course, I’m disappointed,” Kenin, 24, said. “But there are definitely a lot of positives. Last year, I played here and lost in the first round … I’m going to take all the positives from this week.”

Kenin missed the majority of 2022 due to injury and began the year ranked 227th. She has risen to 93rd after advancing to the third rounds of Wimbledon, the Miami Open and Italian Open.

Following her singles title, Krejcikova teamed with fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova to win the doubles title, defeating Rancho Santa Fe resident CoCo Vandeweghe and Danielle Collins, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

The match was the last WTA match of Vandeweghe’s career, which included reaching the singles semifinals of the U.S. and Australian opens in 2017 and teaming with Australian Ashleigh Barty to win the 2017 U.S. Open women’s doubles title.

Vandeweghe, 31, is a niece of former NBA player and executive Kiki VanDeWeghe (he has changed the spelling of his name).

City News Service