Tennis News: Sofia Kenin's father told to relax and Novak Djokovic's attitude

  • Kenin's father won't stop talking
  • Djokovic's attitude about smaller tournaments
Robert Prange/GettyImages

Many had higher hopes for Sofia Kenin this year. She played well as part of the World Tennis League in late 2023 and there was an assumption that she might build on that start in 2024. That has not happened and she is only 1-7 on the season after losing in the first round of the Miami Open. She is not a bad player, but at 25 years old she might already be running out of time to make a big impact on tennis.

Unfortunately, the most memorable part of her year so far might have been something that did not happen during a point on the court. Instead, her father, Alex, who is also her coach simply could not seem to keep quiet during the first-round match in Miami. Coaches and players can talk during matches, but only to a degree.

The chair umpire clearly got tired of hearing all the chirping from Alex Kenin and the umpire spoke with Sofia about it. The umpire's exact words were, "Your father is talking a lot today. He needs to calm down a little bit."

Sofia Kenin's father keeps chirping and Novak Djokovic's attitude toward smaller tournaments

To be fair, coaching is clearly important, but talking too much to a player during a match can be distracting. A player must be able to focus on what is happening on the court and not get a verbal review after every point. Maybe Alex Kenin just needs to relax a little bit.

Speaking of relaxing, tennis great Mats Wilander feels that Novak Djokovic does that during smaller tournaments. In a recent interview with Eurosport, Wilander feels Djokovic doesn't really get bothered by losing at events that are not Masters 1000s or Grand Slams because the Serb might just be going to the smaller tournament to test his form. That way, Djokovic knows whether he is ready to win the next major.

According to Wilander, "Novak Djokovic doesn’t really care when he loses in the smaller tournaments. I mean, he would like to win every tournament, he’d like to win every match. But I do think that sometimes these days he goes on a trip just to test himself...And then he gets to a tournament and he’s playing the other pros, the best players in the world, and he realizes after he wins a round or two or three or whatever the result is, I think he realizes, ‘oh okay, I’m close enough, I don’t need to be any better at this particular moment’."

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