Kenin out of US Open

In 2020, Sofia Kenin emerged as the WTA’s Player of the Year when she picked up her first major title at the Australian Open and later added a French Open runner-up effort.

In 2021, Kenin has been unable to build off her breakout season, and on Wednesday, it officially became a year on the court to forget for the top-ranked American. The 22-year-old, who is vaccinated, revealed a positive COVID-19 test will prevent her from competing at next week's US Open.

“I plan to spend the next several weeks getting healthy and preparing to play well this fall,” the world No. 5 wrote on social media. “Thank you all for supporting me. I want to wish all the players the best of luck in New York.”

If ever there was a contrast in the difference 12 months makes, look no further than Kenin. This time last year, she came into Flushing Meadows as the No. 2 seed a short time after the tours reopened. Elise Mertens would outclass Kenin in the round of 16, and though she was soon demolished by Victoria Azarenka in Rome, 6-0, 6-0, Kenin showed terrific resolve when she made her first tour-level final on clay at Roland Garros.


When the calendar turned the page however, so did Kenin’s good fortune. In her Melbourne title defense, she was hit off the court in the second round by Kaia Kanepi. Staying in Melbourne for a continued WTA swing of events, Kenin crashed out to an unranked Olivia Gadecki before revealing a short time later that she had been suffering from appendicitis.

Kenin's 2021 record stands at a modest 11-10 and she entered this week ranked No. 56 in the race to the WTA Finals. That said, her year may be most remembered for a significant change she made. In early May, she announced one influential voice, father Alex Kenin, would no longer be guiding her as a coach.

“I think for now I just need some time for myself, figure things, grow as a person and then, we'll just see what's gonna happen down the road,” she said when addressing the situation in Madrid.

Following the shakeup, Kenin returned to the second week of the French Open, where she was overpowered by eventual semifinalist Maria Sakkari. A month later, she suffered a surprising 6-2, 6-4 defeat to countrywoman Madison Brengle in the second round of Wimbledon, and hasn’t competed since.

Former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic also pulled out of the season's final major, citing a right leg injury. Earlier Wednesday, six-time champion Serena Williams and two-time winner Venus Williams announced their withdrawals.