Sofia Kenin Becomes the First American Woman to Qualify for Tokyo Olympics, Serena Williams Yet to Qualify

Published 05/04/2021, 12:02 AM EDT
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)


The young American tennis player Sofia Kenin surprised the tennis world when she won the 2020 Australian Open. En route to the title, Kenin defeated players like Coco Gauff, Ons Jabeur, Ash Barty, and Garbine Muguruza.

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The young American also made the finals of the French Open last year and lost to the eventual champion, Iga Swiatek. For her valiant efforts throughout the season, Kenin was awarded the “WTA Player of the year” title.

Sofia Kenin of the United States returns a volley during her Women’s Singles third round match against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia on Day Six of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 05, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

However, the American had a rough start to the 2021 season as she failed to win any titles so far and reached the quarter-finals in a couple of events. Kenin has withdrawn from the Mutua Madrid Open and might play at the Italian Open before heading to Roland Garros.

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Sofia Kenin becomes the first US player to qualify for the Tokya Olympics

There is some good news for Kenin fans, though. The American was the first tennis player to meet the qualifying criteria for the Tokyo Olympics this year.

The top four American players from both the tours (ATP and WTA) will be qualified for the Olympics. Kenin gets qualified by default as she is the number one ranked American on the WTA tour.

Kenin recently confirmed her participation in the Olympics and also expressed her interest to compete at the doubles events as well.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Sofia Kenin of the U.S. after winning her first round match against Australia’s Maddison Inglis REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Serena Williams is yet to qualify but it will be confirmed at the end of the Italian Open that starts next week. Alongside Serena Williams, Madison Keys and Alison Riske have a strong chance of meeting the qualifying criteria.

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Even players like Jessica Pegula and the young sensation Coco Gauff have an outside chance of Olympic qualification. With so many young contenders rooting to play the Olympics from women’s singles, the competition from the American men’s side doesn’t look heavy.

John Isner is the top American player in the ATP rankings, but he informed earlier about his decision to withdraw from the Olympics this year. The withdrawal of Isner might thrust players like Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka to get an opportunity to perform well at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

101 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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