(CBS Local Sports)– Sofia Kenin is only 21 years old, but she’s already accomplished a lot in her professional tennis career.
The American won the 2020 Australia Open, beat Serena Williams at the 2019 French Open and has made it up to number four in the WTA rankings. Before the professional tour returns with the Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open and French Open later this summer, tennis fans will get the chance to watch Kenin in the World TeamTennis semifinals and finals on CBS Sports on August 1 and 2.READ MORE: 1 Killed, 1 Injured In St. Paul Shooting
“We all know each other well and just bonding together is obviously a lot of fun,” said Kenin in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “There’s a lot of shouting and rooting together. It’s obviously much different sitting on the bench and cheering for your teammates and they’re cheering for me. It’s a great energy, great atmosphere and we are all getting along really well.”
In addition to playing World TeamTennis, Kenin is also really excited that Billie Jean King will be in attendance this weekend to watch the WTT semis and finals. Kenin has had the opportunity to develop a relationship with the legendary tennis player and activist over the years.READ MORE: Richfield Police Seek Help After Thief Steals Car With Owner's Dog Inside
“Billie Jean is here to support us and before she came, she asked if I wanted her to come,” said Kenin. “Of course, I’m honored to see her here. I’m super happy that she’s here and gets to support us. Hopefully we can do well in the playoffs. She really inspires me and I really look up to her. She’s done so much for women all around the world and all respect to her. She’s obviously a great role model to me and it’s a little bit intimidating being with a legend like her.”
Kenin was named the 2019 WTA Most Improved Player and won her first grand slam at the Australian Open in January. The 21-year-old says everything came together for her in that tournament and she was also a little superstitious along the way by eating at the same restaurant and watching the same TV shows.
“I was really superstitious and tried to do everything right,” said Kenin. “I was playing really well and felt each match I was playing better and better. There was a lot of emotions leading up to each match. When I was playing the matches, I was locked in and I was ready. I played some of my best tennis and played really good tennis and critical points and critical moments. As each match went, I got a lot more confidence. Winning it was the best feeling in the world.”MORE NEWS: Twin Cities Thai Restaurant Hires Robot Server Amid Staffing Shortage
Watch Kenin and the rest of the World TeamTennis players this weekend on August 1 and 2 on CBS Sports.