An emotional Sofia Kenin admits she is taking in the pressure of being the defending champion of the Australian Open after she left the tournament for the second round

The 22-year-old held back the tears as she reflected on her early exit, which was due to the loss to the uncut Estonian Kaia Kanepi on Thursday in straight sets 6: 3: 6: 2

Her elimination in the second round is also the earliest departure of a defending champion, as Jennifer Capriati did not make it through the first round in 2003

The defeat to Kanepi, which was a class higher in the Margaret Court Arena, continued a scratchy form for Kenin, which also did not convince in her 7: 5: 6: 4 win in the first round against Aussie Maddie Inglis

Kenin was only 22 years old and the Cinderella story of last year’s tournament He became the youngest champion in over a decade after beating Garbine Muguruza in the final

However, she said she was weighed down by expectations of defending her title when she arrived in Melbourne this year

“I think it’s external pressure,” admitted a tearful Kenin when asked where she went wrong against Kanepi

“I was very nervous. I didn’t feel my game because I don’t know how long, but I didn’t feel my game that well even on my first round

“I’ve won since last year and then obviously I feel like everyone is expecting me to do this. It’s obviously tough

“Everyone kept asking me: would you want to? See yourself there and win again? Obviously I said yes, (but) with the way I play, no”

Worn from her first Grand Slam title, Kenin was also impressive at the French Open and was runner-up to Iga Świątek

But she said she was thinking about her Australian Open defense ahead of the event and collapsed under the pressure

“I put pressure on myself there (Roland Garros), but not as much as here,” she said

“I have a feeling that everyone kept asking me,” See you there and win again? “

“The Australia trip was something I had in mind I knew I would be under pressure

“I knew that I would have emotions, nerves and everything together. I was very nervous. I didn’t feel my game because I don’t know how long

Sofia Kenin, kaia kanepi

World News – AU – Sofia Kenin admits that after leaving the second round she collapsed under “external pressure” to defend her title

Source: https://www.sportingnews.com/au/tennis/news/sofia-kenin-admits-she-crumbled-under-outside-pressure-over-title-defence-after-second-round-exit/6ljherg77lth1ejlsz8c9wf9v