Sofia Kenin aims for return to the top after six month hiatus
The American had been hindered by injuries for most of 2021, shutting her season down early to focus on recovery and recuperation. It appears that may now be a thing of the past, as the 2020 Australian Open champion took to the courts in Adelaide and disclosed ger mindset after her first round win.
"It's not 100 percent, but I'm getting there," Kenin said when asked about how she felt physically after playing for the first time in six months. "I was preparing for over a month before coming here. It was a hard pre-season, getting up at six in the morning, eight o'clock, my fitness started, then tennis, back to fitness. So it was back to reality, I guess. I had to take some time off. I felt like I needed it.
"It was not easy to get started with fitness, but then as I started it was good. Coming here I was a bit nervous. It was a bit strange, a new place, traveling. After a few days I got used to it. It was started feeling like a routine.
"So yeah, I think my preparation has been good. Right now, I'm just going to enjoy every moment. I haven't played in a while, so there's no pressure on myself. But I want to do well and I want to win. So it's not like I'm going to go on court and not care. You know me."
The former World No.4 went on to reveal her goals for 2022, stating that she would ultimately like to win a Grand Slam.
"I want to do well and my dad wants me to do well," admitted Kenin. "We didn't really set a goal. Right now it's match-by-match. A win is a win, we'll take it. It's very good compared to not playing for six months, getting back out there. So I don't have much pressure in terms of that.
"But obviously would love to be Top 10 by the end of the year. I'm going to try to work hard to get there. I feel like the worst case, if I don't have the best first half season, I've got the rest, which I missed out last year due to injury and COVID. So I feel like I should be fine as long as my head's there and I feel like it is there and I'm getting back into things.
"Obviously I would love to win Slams or a Slam, to go deep. It's hard to say win a Slam. I don't want to sound like a spoiled little brat, but of course it would be amazing. But to get deep in a Slam, at least quarterfinals would be a really big boost for me after not playing for six months.
"Of course, being healthy. Slams are not everything. There are more tournaments. So I feel like the more matches, the more I see that I'm getting back, the more confidence I'm getting."