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"I just need some time for myself": Sofia Kenin on coaching change
"I had great success with my dad, and I felt like now was the time for me to do what I wanted to do myself in terms of my tennis, my career," Kenin said.
Published May 11, 2021
World No. 5 Sofia Kenin has opened up on her decision to stop being coached by her father, Alex Kenin, who has been in charge of his daughter's entire tennis career.
The 22-year-old Kenin had a breakthrough season in 2020, winning the Australian Open—defeating Garbine Muguruza in the final—and reaching the French Open final. Since the beginning of this season, though, she is 7-7, and fell in the second round of her Australian Open defense.
"I had great success with my dad, and I felt like now was the time for me to do what I wanted to do myself in terms of my tennis, my career," Kenin told press in Madrid. "That's why I decided that I had to part ways with my dad, it's not like in the future we're not going to get back. We don't know what's going to happen. 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."
Kenin also began experiencing severe pain following the Australian Open and underwent an appendectomy that kept her off tour till Miami. She is 1-3 since her return. She has not yet decided who will be her new coach, but is talking with her agents about building her team.
"I mean, obviously this happened like a week ago or something, so I can't really comment on what's going to happen... This whole process, these changes are quite emotional, so I have to be the one to decide how I want it to be and when I want it to be," Kenin said.
Now she's looking to turn her season around, starting this week in Rome, where she is the fourth seed.
"Obviously this year hasn't been the best but it's obviously not the worst. Definitely I feel with more matches, I'm the type of player I win a match or few matches, then I get confidence right away and then I play better and better," she said.
"I think I had two matches [in Paris] I won, I don't know how I won it, it was crazy, dramatic and everything, but slowly found my rhythm.
"I think it's just a matter of matches and then confidence will come with matches.
"I'm going to try my best and do everything I can to compete and do everything I can to win. I hope I'll have better success in Rome and obviously in Paris."
An opening round win could lead to a meeting with Iga Swiatek, who defeated her in the French Open final, in the third round.