Sofia Kenin sets her sights on Top 10 year-end finish

Sofia Kenin sets her sights on Top 10 year-end finish

The 20-year-old American wanted to break the Top 20 in 2019. She did it, and now she's hungry for even more.

Having achieved her goals for the season, Sofia Kenin is aiming higher. 

The 20-year-old began the year ranked No. 52 and wanted to break the Top 20. Now, she's No. 15 in the rankings, and is looking to take the next step.

"Of course, yes, always would like to be Top 10, I think that's the next step, of course," Kenin said at the WTA event in Zhengzhou, China. "But I'm just going to play every match and just try not to think about it. My goal is to try to get to the Zhuhai [Elite Trophy championships]."

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Kenin is among five players who have now qualified for Zhuhai, the WTA has announced. The 12-player event consists of the top-ranked players who did not qualify for the eight-player WTA Finals.

Kenin has won titles at Hobart, Mallorca and Guangzhou this season, and defeated players including Ashleigh Barty, Elina Svitolina and Naomi Osaka.

Veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who partnered Kenin to a doubles title at Wuhan, says the youngster has improved significantly in singles.

“Sonya has been having an unreal year, amazing wins in singles. She's played more matches I think than anyone,” Mattek-Sands said. “She was pumped for dubs. For me, it's about energy. I think we did a really good job coming together, even though we've never played together before.

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"There's very few people that match my energy on court. This kid is one of them. We had some awesome high fives, c'mons and pump-ups. That's really what got us through this tournament is the energy.”

Johanna Konta, Aryna Sabalenka, Madison Keys and Petra Martic, along with Kenin, are the players who have qualified for Zhuhai, with six spots to be filled. There will also be a wildcard announced for the field.