Roland Garros 2020: Sofia Kenin, the daughter of Russian immigrants who wants her second Grand Slam

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As a child prodigy, at age 5 she had an incredible ability to hit the ball. In February he conquered the Australian Open.

Until the end of last year, Sofia Kenin was far from the big lights in the tennis scene. The 21-year-old American hadn’t made a name for herself. But that changed in 2020. In February she won her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open, in March she reached the top 5 for the first time and at Roland Garros she reached the finals, where this Saturday she will face the Polish Iga Swiatek from 10 in Argentina. It will televise ESPN.

In Paris, the name of the world’s number six is ​​on everyone’s lips again. For her, however, having to handle fame is nothing new. Because as his father Alexander, who is also his coach, usually says, “I was most famous when I was ten years old”.

Daughter of Russian immigrants, Sonya -as her family and friends call her- she was a child prodigy of tennis. Rick Macci, who trained her between the ages of 5 and 12, once claimed that she was “unique” and that “at just 5 years old, she had an incredible ability to hit the ball right after the bounce and coordination between the eye and the hand that impressed “.

Kenin complemented his natural talent with great determination. Her successes and her competitive personality transformed her into a little star and led her to rub shoulders with the great figures of tennis from a young age.

In his home in Florida he keeps as memories photos of that time when he got to rally with the Russian Anna Kournikova, he enjoyed a tour behind the scenes of a tournament in Miami with Kim Clijsters and even played exhibitions with Jim Courier, Venus Williams y John McEnroe.

But Kenin, who was born in Moscow but moved to the United States months later with his family, never lost sight of his goal and always worked to fulfill his dream of being number one.

A professional since 2017, last year was one of the great revelations of the circuit: Serena Williams was given the pleasure of going down in the third round of Roland Garros and was awarded as the “Player with the best progress of the season”.

And in this 2020 he established himself in the elite. He surprised by winning in Australia, with triumphs in the semis against Ashleigh Barty, number one in the world, and in the final against Garbiñe Muguruza. And thanks to his celebration in Lyon in March, he jumped to fourth place, his best all-time position.

She arrived in Paris as the fourth favorite and on her way to the semis she beat the Russian Ludmila Samsonova, the Romanians Ana Bogdan e Irina Bara, the French Fiona Ferro, his compatriot Danielle Collins and the Czech Petra Kvitova.

After his win against Collins, Kenin was asked what he liked best about tennis. The American, owner of a backhand and a drive very powerful and a winning and fighting mentality, he did not hesitate. “I love winning more than anything. When I win, I feel many things. And it’s a feeling you always want to have when you go out on the court, “said the child tennis prodigy, who became a great star.

HS

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