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“I’ve Looked up To Maria Sharapova” – Sofia Kenin

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Maria Sharapova and Sofia kenin

The 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin played on the big tennis platform for the very first time in her career, and convincingly she was the clear champion in Saturday’s finals at Australian Open 2020. The new Grand Slam champion Kenin is the new face of American tennis, but little do people know, she was born in Moscow and has deep-rooted connections with Russia.

 

 
Sofia Kenin

Her family moved to the United States from Russia when Kenin was just a few months old. They were living in New York City since 1987, but they went back to Russia for delivering Kenin and to receive the support of other family members.

Maria Sharapova

Sofia Kenin’s Russian heritage aided her to create wonders on the tennis tours
Sofia Kenin credits her groundbreaking victory in Melbourne to her Russian roots, and mentioned about her Russian tennis idols, Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova. At the age of 17, Sharapova defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2004 finals and pulled off her first major title.

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova’s major wins as a teenager did not stop there in London, as a 19-year-old she lifted up another major title at US Open 2006. “I definitely think about my Russian heritage and it helped me,” Kenin shared after making her breakthrough on the major courts. “I’ve looked up to Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova. I followed their matches when I was little.”

Sofia Kenin

She continued to speak how Sharapova’s tennis persuaded her to do something significant in the sport. And her Russian roots have effectively contributed in her journey to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup on the Rod Laver Arena.

“I feel like I got the feisty [approach]. I saw what it’s like. She won a grand slam at 17, Maria, which I remember watching on TV. Yeah, I feel like that definitely helped me. I have part of Russian stuff inside me, the fight that I have, trying just to be confident, do what I do best,” Kenin added.

Sofia Kenin

Sharapova and Kenin played each other just once in their careers. It was at the US Open 2017. Back then, the American lost in straight sets to her Russian idol.

Kenin also receives tennis tips from the former World Number one Dinara Safina, who is also a Russian.

Living an American dream
With her Australian Open triumph, on Monday, Sofia Kenin will be ranked as high as World Number seven. She’s the new number one tennis player from the United States of America.

maria Sharapova laughing

Upon defeating the two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza, Kenin mentioned that her wild American dream has officially come true. “And thank you to my parents for giving me the American dream. [Being the American number one] is exciting. I’m so happy. I was told if I would win, I’d be number seven [in the world]. It’s such an honor. I love representing the US. I just love it. It’s like an honor,” Kenin concluded.