Edging through the opening set of her clash before the Italian was forced to retire, Kenin will look to continue building on her Abu Dhabi quarterfinal finish back in January, and hopes to draw on advice from father Alex and even ATP No. 1 Novak Djokovic, whom she first met last year on the eve of her major breakthrough.
"We were practicing next to each other, and was really nice about it," she recalled in Abu Dhabi. "He told me some things about playing the final, which was really special because I was crazy nervous. He told me some things which I will not disclose, because I would rather keep it secret.
"I used to be very, very emotional on court, crying and stuff," she added in Melbourne today. "It’s obviously better now, so mentally, I have improved. I might ask Novak for more advice, but I won’t seek him out. It’s not like I’m going to go up to him like, ‘Hey!’ We’ve already talked, but I’ll stick with my dad and if I have a chance to talk to Novak again, I will."
When another reporter notes her seemingly carefree attitude in practice with Ostapenko earlier in the week, the brutally honest American can't help but clarify that the facade is still very much a work in progress.
"I’m glad I looked relaxed because I’m honestly nervous and trying to show that everything is all good, even when I’m shaking!"