Sofia Kenin is an American professional tennis player who has broken into the WTA Top 5 rankings and is a Grand Slam champion.
Name: Sofia Kenin
Born: November 14, 1998
Turned Pro: 2017
Sofia Kenin was born in Moscow, Russia and her family moved to the United States when she was a few months old. She began playing tennis at the age of five, after seeing her father play recreationally. After displaying immense potential, she began training with former ATP Player Rick Macci until she was twelve. She was a child prodigy, and reached a career-high of World No.2 in the ITF Junior rankings. This was precipitated by a runner-up finish at the junior event of the 2015 US Open, as well as winning the USTA Girls 18s National Championship.
Kenin received a wild card entry into the 2015 US Open, losing to Mariana Duque-Mariño in the first round. The following year, she would win her first two ITF titles. She also received another wild card entry to the 2016 US Open, losing to Karolina Pliskova in the first round. Kenin would break into the Top 150 in 2017, where she advanced beyond the first round of the US Open for the first time. She lost to Maria Sharapova in the third round, and finished the 2017 season ranked World No.108.
During the 2018 season, Kenin would reach her first career WTA quarterfinal at the 2018 Auckland Open. This was followed by her first WTA semifinal, where she upset top seed Caroline Wozniacki at the 2018 Mallorca Open. She would reach the third round of the US Open, again losing to Pliskova. She ended the year ranked World No.52 for her first Top 100 finish.
Kenin began the 2019 season by winning her first WTA doubles title, teaming with Canadian Eugenie Bouchard to triumph at Auckland. She would win her maiden WTA singles title the following week at the 2019 Hobart International, defeating Anna Karolína Schmiedlová in the final. She would lose to World No.1 Simona Halep in the second round of the 2019 Australian Open, falling in three close sets. This was followed with a runner-up appearance at the Mexican Open, where she lost to China’s Wang Yafan. She would reach the third round of the Italian Open, before having her best performance at a Grand Slam. This happened when she upset World No.10 Serena Williams in the third round of the 2019 French Open, before losing to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round.
Kenin would win her second WTA title of the year at the 2019 Mallorca Open, defeating World No.13 Belinda Bencic in the final. This was followed by semifinal appearances at both the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open. She defeated the World No.1 players Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka at each event. Kenin would go on to lose to compatriot Madison Keys in the third round of the 2019 US Open.
Kenin won her third singles title of the year at the Guangzhou Open, defeating Samantha Stosur in the final. She would partner with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to win her second doubles title of the year at the China Open. She qualified for the WTA Elite Trophy, but failed to advance out of the group stage. She also played in one match as an alternate at the season-ending WTA Finals, losing to eventual champion Elina Svitolina. Kenin would end the year ranked No.14, after reaching a career-high of World No.12 a few weeks earlier. She also received the WTA Most Improved Player Award for her breakthrough season, becoming the first American to do so since Serena Williams in 1999.
Kenin would win her maiden Grand Slam at the 2020 Australian Open, defeating two-time Major champion Garbine Muguruza in the final. She defeated top seed Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals, denying her the chance to win a Grand Slam on her home soil. Kenin would win her second title of the year at the inaugural Lyon Open, defeating Anna-Lena Friedsam in the final. As a result, she would break into the Top 10 and rise to a career-high of World No.4.
Kenin garnered widespread attention in the tennis community at a young age, which saw her grace the covers of various tennis magazines. She is coached by her father, Alexander Kenin and was home-schooled in Pembroke Pines, Florida.