COVID case at Australian Open hotel cancels play at tuneups
An Australian Open courtesy car waits outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in central Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. All competition at six Australian Open tuneup events scheduled for Thursday was called off after a worker at one of the tournaments' Melbourne quarantine hotels tested positive for COVID-19. The Australian Open is scheduled to begin Monday. Williams won her last major title at the 2017 Australian Open, when she was pregnant with her daughter, Olympia. On the bottom half of the draw, defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin rallied from a set and a break down to fend off Jessica Pegula 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
Kenin voted WTA Player of Year; Azarenka gets Comeback honor
Sofia Kenin collected the WTA Player of the Year award on Tuesday after winning the Australian Open in January for her first Grand Slam title and finishing as the runner-up at the French Open in October. Kenin entered this year with an 11-11 career mark in Grand Slam tournaments and zero trips beyond the fourth round at any of the sport’s top four events. That triumph made Kenin the youngest Australian Open champion since 2008, when Maria Sharapova was 20. Kenin went on to get to the fourth round at the U.S. Open, then the final at the pandemic-postponed French Open before losing to Swiatek for the title. Mladenovic and Babos won two Grand Slam doubles titles this season, at the Australian Open and French Open.