25-year-old Sofia Kenin is one of three active American players who have won a Grand Slam. Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, is in good company with 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2023 US Open champion Coco Gauff but is lesser known and talked about. She is the only American woman to win a Grand Slam outside of the US since Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open.
The COVID-19 pandemic was devastating on many fronts, and one of those was on the trajectory of Kenin's career. She won the final Grand Slam before the pandemic hit and has not achieved that level of success since despite being a finalist in the COVID-19-delayed 2020 French Open played in September 2020.
Injuries and confidence issues have gotten in her way, but lately, Kenin is playing with a smile on her face and is healthy. That makes the former World No. 3 a threat to add another Australian Open championship to her resume next month.
The improved Sofia Kenin
In addition to injuries, Kenin rarely smiled on the court. That changed in 2023 partly because of singles successes and because she was an integral part of the American winning team at the Billie Jean King Cup. The results and rankings jump speak for themselves. Kenin started 2023 ranked 245th and will be 33rd going into Melbourne in mid-January.
Kenin, 25, is currently playing in the World Tennis League and has clicked in doubles with Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva. Kenin is of Russian descent and perhaps sees some of her young self in the promising rise of Andreeva.
Based on their on-court chemistry, fans hope to see the pair play doubles in WTA tournaments in 2024. Most importantly, fans enjoy watching a happy and healthy Kenin on the court because she is tough to beat when playing her best tennis. She is one of many interesting storylines that promises to make the 2024 women's tennis season among the most diverse and cpmpetitive in recent years.