Australian Open 2020: Career took off after Roland Garros triumph over Serena Williams, says Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin made a name for herself last year when she dumped her “idol” Serena Williams out of the French Open, a victory the Australian Open semi-finalist says was the pivotal moment of her tennis career.

Reuters January 28, 2020 13:45:02 IST
Australian Open 2020: Career took off after Roland Garros triumph over Serena Williams, says Sofia Kenin
  • Serena Williams had arrived in Paris seeking a 24th Grand Slam title but was bundled out in the third round in straight sets by Kenin

  • Kenin’s run at Melbourne Park has prompted comparisons with fellow American Danielle Collins’s march to last year’s semi-final as an unseeded player

  • The Moscow-born Kenin, whose parents moved to the United States when she was a baby, is now the last remaining of 22 Americans in the women’s main draw

Melbourne: Sofia Kenin made a name for herself last year when she dumped her “idol” Serena Williams out of the French Open, a victory the Australian Open semi-finalist says was the pivotal moment of her tennis career.

Australian Open 2020 Career took off after Roland Garros triumph over Serena Williams says Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin is into her maiden slam semi-final after beating Ons Jabeur. AP

Williams had arrived in Paris seeking another Grand Slam title to equal the 24 won by Australian great Margaret Court but was bundled out in the third round in straight sets by Kenin.

Kenin, who says she dreams of a doubles pairing with Williams, would fall in the next round to eventual champion Ash Barty but says that experience at Roland Garros changed her career trajectory.

“I feel like that was the first time I experienced getting to the second week,” she said after setting up an Australian Open semi-final date with world number one Barty.

“Obviously it felt really different. It’s so much different.

“But, yeah, I feel like that match really changed things. I obviously saw that I can play on this level, I could play with the best. Of course, it just happens to be Serena, my idol.

“I feel like after that, things took off.”

The 21-year-old had a breakthrough 2019 season when she won all three of her singles titles to reach a career-high ranking of 12, the United States’ number two behind Williams.

She finished the year with another impressive stat — tied for hard-court wins, 38, with Barty.

“I feel like all the match play I’ve had has helped me,” Kenin said. “Of course, I’m rising, so I’m trying to somehow keep my game stable, just play with stability, just play each match as one match at a time.

“I’m really happy. I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am. I’ve done a really hard pre-season. I knew that it’s going to help me and it’s going to pay off. Thank God it’s paying off here.”

Kenin’s run at Melbourne Park has prompted comparisons with fellow American Danielle Collins’s march to last year’s semi-final as an unseeded player.

The Moscow-born Kenin, whose parents moved to the United States when she was a baby, is now the last remaining of 22 Americans in the women’s main draw.

“It’s exciting, I’m happy. I’m doing this for myself,” said Kenin, who eliminated compatriot Coco Gauff in the fourth round. “I’m trying not to think about the last American.

“But of course it’s an honour, it’s a privilege. I’m happy to be where I am.”

Updated Date:

also read

Tokyo Olympics 2020: 2016 tennis gold medallist Monica Puig to miss Summer Games
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: 2016 tennis gold medallist Monica Puig to miss Summer Games

Puig was unseeded at the Rio Olympics, but capped a run of upsets by beating three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the singles final.

French Open 2021: Rafael Nadal eases past Jannik Sinner, Novak Djokovic survives scare against Lorenzo Musetti
Sports

French Open 2021: Rafael Nadal eases past Jannik Sinner, Novak Djokovic survives scare against Lorenzo Musetti

Third seed Nadal downed 19-year-old Sinner 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 and goes on to face 10th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina who he defeated in the semi-finals last year.

French Open 2021 Review: Djokovic climbs Mt Everest, Krejcikova does the double, Nadal still King
Sports

French Open 2021 Review: Djokovic climbs Mt Everest, Krejcikova does the double, Nadal still King

A look back at the two weeks of French Open which crowned Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova as the men's and women's champions.