“She’s Serena for a Reason”: Sofia Kenin Wary of Serena Williams Challenge at Australian Open 2021

Published 01/28/2021, 11:30 PM EST
Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her Women’s Singles third round match against Sloane Stephens of the United States on Day Six of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


In her career spanning over two decades, Serena Williams has inspired an entire generation. And that generation also includes the American World No. 4 Sofia Kenin.

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Currently, from inside the Melbourne Park bubble, the 22-year-old American revealed her admiration for the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

The 39-year-old tennis champion is the only player to have won every major tournament in the last four decades. She is also the player with most Grand Slams titles in the Open Era, and one must naturally get inspiration from her.

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Kenin always cheered for Serena Williams at Grand Slams

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after winning a point during her Women’s Singles second-round match against Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia on day three of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old American had a great 2020 season; she won the Australian Open and reached the finals of the French Open. But before she starts her new season, Sofia talked about following the path of Serena Williams.

“She’s had great success,” Kenin said. “She really inspired me and I’m sure she inspired a lot of young athletes that want to be just like her.”

Looking back, the young American remembers how she used to watch Serena play and rejoice. Kenin still holds her in the highest regard.

“I looked up to her my whole career — even when I wasn’t on tour as one of the pros. I obviously watched her great victories at slams and was always cheering for her,” World No. 4 said.

Now, the two are just days away from competing for the Australian Open 2021 title.

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Sofia Kenin of the United States poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after her Women’s Singles Final match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain> on day thirteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 01, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Both the Americans have previously been the champions of the Happy Slam. While Serena won it for the 8 time in 2017, Sofia won her first one last year.

Hoping to defend her title, Kenin is yet to master the serve of the 4-time Olympic Gold medallist. And even though she is ranked ahead of Serena, she knows the capabilities of the former World No. 1.

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“It is very special to be ahead [of Williams on the rankings] but I still respect her and know she is a great player. She’s Serena for a reason,” Kenin said. “I still can’t get her serve even though I know how she serves. That’s something — no one can compete with her on that.”

Williams will aim to fail Sofia’s title defence to win her 24 Grand Slam. In doing so, she could equal Margaret Court’s all-time most Grand Slams record.

Will Serena get her #24 or will Sofia defend her title successfully?

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Purav Joshi

950 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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