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Keep calm and be gay.
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This interview tells us a lot of information on what she is thinking right now regarding her comeback after going AWOL for a while.


2022 Adelaide 500 January 5, 2022
Kenin eyes a return to the top: 'It feels like people forgot about me'
Six months had passed since Sofia Kenin last took the court. But she's back, and her 2022 aspirations are lofty.

By Courtney Nguyen - WTA Insider

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Tears were flowing from Sofia Kenin as she prepared to play the Adelaide International, her first competitive match in nearly six months. But after a 2021 campaign that was hampered by illness and injury, the 23-year-old American did what she always does. She steeled herself to secure a straight-sets win over Italian qualifier Lucia Bronzetti to begin what she hopes will be a resurgent 2022 campaign.

Now ranked No.12, Kenin is back in her happy place in Australia. She rose up the rankings over the 2019 and 2020 seasons in which she won her first three titles in 2019 before leveling up to take home the 2020 Australian Open trophy. She then finished as runner-up at Roland Garros that fall and reaching a career-high of No.4.

Kenin spoke to WTA Insider after her first-round win in Adelaide to discuss her mindset:

WTA Insider: After winning your first match in six months, how are you feeling?

Kenin: It's not 100 percent, but I'm getting there. I was preparing for over a month before coming here. It was a hard pre-season, getting up at six in the morning, eight o'clock, my fitness started, then tennis, back to fitness. So it was back to reality, I guess. I had to take some time off. I felt like I needed it.

It was not easy to get started with fitness, but then as I started it was good. Coming here I was a bit nervous. It was a bit strange, a new place, traveling. After a few days I got used to it. It was started feeling like a routine.

So yeah, I think my preparation has been good. Right now, I'm just going to enjoy every moment. I haven't played in a while, so there's no pressure on myself. But I want to do well and I want to win. So it's not like I'm going to go on court and not care. You know me.

WTA Insider: As you start your 2022 season, what are you looking for game-wise?

Kenin: Matches, definitely. The better I play, the more matches I get, the more comfortable I'll feel on court. Obviously not expecting to win everything, but every match I win is a boost of confidence. It's a little bit different than my other mentality before, but I'll get there.

I'm still that feisty competitive kid who hates to lose and everything, a little diva. I just got to ease my way into things.

WTA Insider: Have you set goals for this season?

Kenin: Obviously I want to do well and my dad wants me to do well. We didn't really set a goal. Right now it's match-by-match. A win is a win, we'll take it. It's very good compared to not playing for six months, getting back out there. So I don't have much pressure in terms of that.

But obviously would love to be Top 10 by the end of the year. I'm going to try to work hard to get there. I feel like the worst case, if I don't have the best first half season, I've got the rest, which I missed out last year due to injury and COVID. So I feel like I should be fine as long as my head's there and I feel like it is there and I'm getting back into things.

WTA Insider: What would make you happy this year?

Kenin: Obviously I would love to win Slams or a Slam, to go deep. It's hard to say win a Slam. I don't want to sound like a spoiled little brat, but of course it would be amazing. But to get deep in a Slam, at least quarterfinals would be a really big boost for me after not playing for six months.

Of course, being healthy. Slams are not everything. There are more tournaments. So I feel like the more matches, the more I see that I'm getting back, the more confidence I'm getting.

[Wednesday] after the match, getting the attention was nice and I missed it. I missed my fans. I stepped on a court, I was treated with love after the match. It was nice because of course, sometimes it feels like people forgot about me, so it was just nice to have that feeling back.

"Obviously I know I can lose, but I would like to see some kind of progress. Even if it's not 0 to 100, then 0 to 50."
WTA Insider: Can you separate the results from being happy on court?

Kenin: I'm kind of hard on myself. I've put in the work and obviously would want the results to at least come. I don't want to be on a five-match losing streak. Obviously I know I can lose, but I would like to see some kind of progress. Even if it's not 0 to 100, then 0 to 50. Something.

WTA Insider: How much does your 2020 season stay with you now?

Kenin: Obviously I've been there and done that, so it's not like I'm coming in as a newbie. The belief, obviously the confidence that I have, try to build on it. With every match that I won during that season, I got more and more confidence. So I think with every match I win that will get me confidence. If I play a good level, hopefully I'll improve.

Hopefully I should be back to where I want to be. We've got a whole year ahead. I haven't played in some time so I have some time to get there and get where I want to be. I feel like if I play like I did in my first round and better, I should be back feeling how I felt in no time. But level-wise, I think I'm there. I've never lost it, but obviously I haven't played. But I knew I have it.
 

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Who knows what 's actually happening behind the scenes, but if she's approaching this "comeback" with patience and the understanding that she's going to have to work hard to get back to where she was and she's willing to fight for every win, I think she can certainly be back in the top 10 in the next 12-18 months. There's a lot in flux in women's tennis right now, and the big events are ripe for the taking. Why not a gritty, proven champ like Sonya?
 

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Not even sure they knew about her, even after a slam.
In fairness, her timing for the breakthrough was pretty rough - won a major and a follow-up title (thus indicating she'd sloughed off the pressure) just before full global lockdown went into effect, and never got a hometown tournament welcome in Indian Wells or Miami.

I don't think she'd be a big breakthrough cultural name anyways, but she would've gotten some level of promotion or attention at Indian Wells/Miami in 2020, and for obvious reasons that didn't happen, and for less obvious reasons it didn't happen during the 2020 US Open series (as weird as that whole time frame was).
 

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She seems to be determined and ambitious but realistic, which I think is great for achieving her goals.
 

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In fairness, her timing for the breakthrough was pretty rough - won a major and a follow-up title (thus indicating she'd sloughed off the pressure) just before full global lockdown went into effect, and never got a hometown tournament welcome in Indian Wells or Miami.

I don't think she'd be a big breakthrough cultural name anyways, but she would've gotten some level of promotion or attention at Indian Wells/Miami in 2020, and for obvious reasons that didn't happen, and for less obvious reasons it didn't happen during the 2020 US Open series (as weird as that whole time frame was).
Her team should organise something with Andy Roddick - like they did for Kim. She might shine through eventually.
 

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Kenin needs to get back to the point construction, meat and potatoes tennis she put out there in 2020. She is strong, fit, works hard, good movement ,and decent power. For some reason she tried to overpower everyone last year and just tried to hit winners from the upper deck.o_O Also, her grit was absent last year....a big deal for her. One curious thing though.....she gets aced with alarming regularity. Barty served very well in their Adelaide match, but still...17 aces in 2 sets? Reading what someone put up here, Kenin got aced last year at nearly TWICE the tour average, last on tour. Riddle me that one folks. Seriously, I think Sofia is going to struggle this year overall. Adelaide though, was not a bad start for her.....but the scoreline was flattering to Kenin against Ash....result was NID.
 

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We forget about you because you are so boring, you have an ugly game and random results.
Wow, your lovely personality shines through. You know writing something like this about others always says much more about yourself than about the person you're writing about. This tells me you're young, insecure, afraid of being boring yourself.

OnTopic: Article starts with the "tears were flowing"? She was crying her eyes out before her first round match or...? Sounds a bit worrying. Hope she will have a successful year.
 

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she is paying attention to how much attention she gets?

maybe she should act more narcissistic and get attention then :)
 
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