30 Surprising Facts About Sofia Kenin You Might Have Missed Before

Sofia Kenin
(Photo : Kulitat)

Sofia Anna "Sonya" Kenin, the top-ranked American in the women’s singles, has a career-high Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking of No. 4 in the world. Though, she struggled with form in the 2021 season, plagued by appendicitis and other injury, there is no doubt that Kenin is getting back to her form already. Famous for her unusually aggressive style of playing that incorporates a variety of shots, rather than just power, she is currently the reigning WTA Player of the Year. Kenin is best known for disguising whether her backhand is going cross-court or down the line. Her coach calling her “the mosquito,” has always praised her for her determination, and claims her timing of the ball is better than anybody he has ever taught. Here are some really interesting facts about her that will make you love her more:

    Sofia Kenin"Sofia Kenin" by Kulitat is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  1.  For her first Grand Slam singles title, at just 21 years of age, Kenin won the 2020 Australian Open defeating Garbiñe Muguruza in the final, making her the youngest American woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Serena Williams won Wimbledon in 2002.
  2.  With this victory, she also became the youngest American to make her top 10 debut in the WTA rankings since Serena in 1999, rising to No. 7 in the world.
  3.  In the 2019 season, she received the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year award for her breakthrough season, becoming the first American player to win the award since Serena Williams in 1999.
  4.  She defeated the respective world No. 1 players Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka at the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Open, in the 2019 grass court season, marking her first two victories over a top-ranked player.
  5.  With these two victories, she also became the first player to defeat the world No. 1 in back-to-back weeks since Lindsay Davenport in 2001.
  6.  Sofia Anna Kenin was born on November 14, 1998 to Alexander Kenin and Svetlana Kenin in Moscow, Russia. A few months after her birth, the family moved to the United States.
  7.  Initially, the family had relocated to New York City in 1987 from Soviet Union, but had returned to Russia, for Sofia’s birth, so that other family members can help raise her.
  8.  Before moving to US, her mother worked as a nurse in the Soviet Union. At the time of initially relocation, her parents had only $286 with them.
  9.  Her father used to play tennis recreationally, which inspired Sofia to begin playing tennis at the very young age of 5. Her parents recognized her potential and arranged for training with Rick Macci in Broward County, Florida.
  10.  She has a younger sister named Anya Kenin. She was homeschooled in Pembroke Pines, Florida. However, her focus was mainly on Tennis, and played in several tournaments.
  11.  She trained under Macci for seven years, until she was 12 years old. Macci remarked that at the age of 5, Sofia was unique with excellent hand-eye coordination. He called the scariest little creature he had ever seen.
  12.  Apart from Macci, Kenin had also worked with Nick Bollettieri. However, her primary coach had always been her father, until May 2021.
  13.  She began playing in United States Tennis Association (USTA) girls' 10-and-under tournaments at the age of 7, and became the top-ranked player in Florida in that division.
  14.  She went on to earn the No. 1 rankings in the USTA national rankings for each of the 12, 14, 16, and 18-and-under divisions.
  15.  At the age of 13, she played in the low-level Grade 4 events on the ITF Junior Circuit, reaching a career-high of No. 2 in the ITF junior rankings. She progressed to Grade 1 level, after winning her first titles in both singles and doubles in the year 2013.
  16. IMG_0066"IMG_0066" by maryanne.frank is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  17.  In the end of 2013, Kenin made her Grade A debut at the Orange Bowl, reaching the semifinals in singles and finishing runner-up in doubles with Kaitlyn McCarthy to Tornado Alicia Black and Naiktha Bains.
  18.  She, alongside CiCi Bellis and Black, represented the United States at the Junior Fed Cup and won the tournament sweeping Slovakia 3–0 in the final.
  19.  Following this, she got her breakthrough, when she won the Orange Bowl, defeating Bellis and Ingrid Neel in the last two rounds in the match.
  20.  As the No. 3 seed, she defeated the No.1 seed Black in the final of the USTA Girls 18s National Championship, during the summer of 2015.
  21.  With this win, she earned a wild card into the main draw of the 2015 US Open, and finished runner up to Dalma Galfi, in the junior event at the US Open. She rose to No. 2 in the world.
  22.  In the year 2016, she won her first two ITF titles, the first at a $25K event in Wesley Chapel in Florida and the second at a $50K event in Sacramento in California.
  23.  For the first time ever, she advanced beyond the first round of a Grand Slam tournament at the 2017 US Open, defeating compatriots Lauren Davis and Sachia Vickery before losing to the 2006 champion Maria Sharapova in the third round.
  24.  Her success at the US Open, encouraged her to turn professional, following which, she forwent a scholarship to attend the University of Miami, and ended up finishing the year as No. 108 in the world.
  25.  Kenin reached her first WTA semifinal at the Mallorca Open, where she defeated top seed and world No. 6 Caroline Garcia for her first career top ten victory.
  26.  In January 2021, Sofia inked her endorsement deal with American consumer electronics and telecommunications company, Motorola.
  27.  In the year 2019, her performance improved greatly, rising from the outside the top 50 at the start of the year, to on the cusp of the top ten, by the end of season.
  28.  She won her maiden WTA singles title at the Hobart International without dropping a set, defeating the top seed and No. 19 Caroline Garcia in the first round, an upsetting Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the final.
  29.  In the clay court season of the same year, she upset world No. 10 Serena Williams in the third round of the French Open, before losing to the eventual champion Ashleigh Barty.
  30.  Her worst defeat by ranking on the WTA tour was in the second round of the Philip Island Trophy, in which she was upset by the unranked Australian wildcard Olivia Gadecki, whose career high ranking being No. 988 in the world.
  31.  In the 2021 season, she was defeated by Madison Brengle in the second round, during which she set a new Wimbledon record – committing 41 unforced errors in just 45 minutes, equivalent to 0.91 unforced errors per minute.
  32.  Sofia Kenin Net Worth: $3 Million

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