Five Things To Know About About Sofia Kenin’s Shock Australian Open Win - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Grand Slam

Five Things To Know About About Sofia Kenin’s Shock Australian Open Win

There is a new superstar in American tennis and she means business.

Avatar

Published

on

Sofia Kenin - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

On Saturday a new star of women’s tennis was born on the Rod Laver Arena. Sofia Kenin claimed the biggest win of her career by defeating two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza to win the Australian Open.

 

The rise of the American had been on the cards, but few predicted two weeks ago that she would be able to go all the way to victory. Last year Kenin achieved a series of milestones that included claiming three WTA titles and winning a total of tour-leading 38 matches on a hard court along with world No.1 Ash Barty.

“These past two weeks, there have been a lot of emotions. You guys could see after the match how much it all meant to me. This is such an honour.” Kenin said during her press conference.
“I’m so proud of myself, my dad, my team, everyone that has been around me. We’ve all worked hard. We’ve been through tough times. We did it. We fought. I’m just like on cloud nine.”

Born in Moscow before her family moved to New York when she was a baby, Kenin is coached on the tour by her father Alexander. Along with support from Lorenzo Cava. A former world No.2 player in the juniors, she made her WTA debut at the age of 16 during the 2015 US Open. She didn’t make her top 50 debut until October 2018 and broke into the top 20 last summer.

Now a grand slam champion, Kenin has achieved a series of milestone in her career. Becoming the first American woman outside of the Williams sisters to clinch the Melbourne title since Jennifer Capriati in 2002.

Here are five things to know about Kenin’s win :-

  1.  Following Serena: At the age of 21 years and 80 days, Kenin is set to rise to world No.7 on Monday in the world rankings. Becoming the youngest American woman to crack the top 10 since Serena Williams back in 1999. Coincidentally, she is also the youngest major winner from America since Williams won the 2002 US Open at the age of 17.Kenin is the youngest player to contest an Australian Open final since 2008. On that occasion, Maria Sharapova defeated Ana Ivanovic with both players being at the age of 20.
  2. Third time lucky: 2020 is just her third main draw appearance in Melbourne. She lost in the first round in 2018, followed by a second round exit a year later. The last woman to reach the final on only her third appearance was Martina Hingis back in 1997, who also won the title. The last player to win on their debut was Monica Seles in 1991.
  3. Another first-time winner: It is the 11th time in history a female player has won their maiden grand slam title at the Australian Open in the Open Era. Others to do so include Amelie Mauresmo, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki. Eight out of the last 12 grand slams have produced a first-time winner.
  4. A growing field of champions: Kenin is now the 16th active player on the WTA Tour to have a grand slam title. The number includes six out of the current top 10 players on the tour.
  5. Big payout: Kenin’s run at the tournament alone has almost matched what she has won in her entire professional career to date. She exits Melbourne with an estimated $2.85 million in prize money. Prior to the tournament, her career earnings stood at $2.95 million.

Grand Slam

US Open To Allow Full Capacity Crowds A Year After Being Held Behind Closed Doors

The announcement is the latest step in a gradual return to normality in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Avatar

Published

on

The US Open will become the first Grand Slam to take place without any restrictions on the number of spectators attending since the COVID-19 crises turned into a worldwide pandemic.

 

The Associated Press has confirmed that the USTA, who are in charge of the tournament, will allow 100% fan capacity throughout the entire two weeks. Something that hasn’t happened at a major event in tennis since the 2020 Australian Open. The announcement is a dramatic contrast to last year when Flushing Meadows was held behind closed doors amid a surge of cases in the region.

Earlier this week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state had reached their target of issuing 70% of the population at least one COVID-19 vaccination. He has now lifted ‘state-mandated’ restrictions across both commercial and social settings with immediate effect. However, masks will still need to be worn at large venues for the time being. According to the latest COVID-19 figures, New York reported 450 new cases last week which was the lowest-level since the pandemic began.

The development is a major boost for the USTA who suffered big financial losses last season. According to information provided in September, US Open revenue fell by an estimated 50% and the USTA expected their net operating profit to decline by roughly 80%. To put this into perspective the 2018 event generated $300M in revenue.

In 2019 a total of 737,872 fans attended the US Open over a two-week period and a further 115,355 attended during the fan week. Making it the first time the tournament has welcomed more than 850,000 people to the event.

Tickets for the 2021 tournament are set to go on sale next month with all court tickets and ground passes being available. No information on the pricing of those tickets have been released yet.

There has been a steady rise of fans allowed to attend major tournaments in the sport. At the French Open 5000 spectators were allowed to attend daily to begin with before the number increased to 13,000 later in the tournament. Meanwhile, Wimbledon will start at 50% capacity and rise to 100% for the finals.

The US Open takes place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12 in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

Wimbledon Award Wild Cards To Former Champions Andy Murray, Venus Williams

Here is a list of which players have received passes into this year’s tournament.

Avatar

Published

on

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will make his 13th appearance in the main draw at Wimbledon after being awarded a wild card on Wednesday by The All England Club.

 

Murray, who won the men’s title in 2013 and 2016, is currently on the comeback from a groin injury which forced him to miss three months of the Tour this season. The latest setback for the Brit who has also undergone two hip surgeries in recent years in order to prolong his career. Murray is currently participating at the Cinch Championships in Queen’s where he beat Benoit Paire in his first round match on Tuesday.

“Look, I love playing tennis,” an emotional Murray said following his win over Paire.
“Obviously, competing is why you put in all the hard work.
“The last few years, I’ve not go to do that as much as I would have liked so, yeah [it’s] just great that I’m out here and able to compete again.”

Another player to receive one of the initial wild cards is Spanish rising star Carlos Alcaraz who is currently ranked 78th in the world. The 18-year-old recently reached the third round of the French Open as a qualifier and won a Challenger title on clay. Last month he broke into the ATP top 100 for the first time to become the youngest player to do so since Borna Coric in 2014.

As for the women, Venus Williams has been given entry into the main draw. At the age of 40, Williams is one of the oldest players on the WTA Tour and she has only won three out of 18 matches played since the start of 2020. She is a five-time champion at Wimbledon with her most recent triumph taking place back in 2018. It will be her 23rd main draw appearance at Wimbledon.

Regarding the British players, Jay Clarke, Liam Broady, Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart have all been awarded wild cards. So has youngster Jack Draper, who stunned Jannik Sinner at Queen’s earlier this week.

Full list of wild cards

GENTLEMEN’S SINGLES

  1. Carlos ALCARAZ (ESP)
  2. Liam BROADY (GBR)
  3. Jay CLARKE (GBR)
  4. Jack DRAPER (GBR)
  5. Andy MURRAY (GBR)
  6. To be announced
  7. To be announced
  8. To be announced

LADIES’ SINGLES

  1. Katie BOULTER (GBR)
  2. Jodie BURRAGE (GBR)
  3. Harriet DART (GBR)
  4. Francesca JONES (GBR)
  5. Samantha MURRAY SHARAN (GBR)
  6. Venus WILLIAMS (USA)
  7. Not used – Next direct acceptance
  8. Not used – Next direct acceptance

GENTLEMEN’S DOUBLES

  1. Liam BROADY (GBR) and Ryan PENISTON (GBR)
  2. Jay CLARKE (GBR) and Marius COPIL (ROU)
  3. Lloyd GLASSPOOL (GBR) and Harri HELIOVAARA (FIN)
  4. Alastair GRAY (GBR) and Aidan MCHUGH (GBR)
  5. Stuart PARKER (GBR) and James WARD (GBR)
  6. To be announced
  7. To be announced

LADIES’ DOUBLES

  1. Naiktha BAINS (GBR) and Samantha MURRAY SHARAN (GBR)
  2. Harriet DART (GBR) and Heather WATSON (GBR)
  3. Sarah Beth GREY (GBR) and Emily WEBLEY-SMITH (GBR)
  4. Tara MOORE (GBR) and Eden SILVA (GBR)
  5. To be announced
  6. To be announced
  7. To be announced

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

Wimbledon Finals To Be Played In Front Of Full Capacity Crowd In UK first Since Lockdown

The grass-court Grand Slam has been granted a special exemption from the government which will allow them to welcome thousands to the tournament over a two-week period.

Avatar

Published

on

The Wimbledon Championships received a major boost after being listed as a pilot event by the British Government which allows them to welcome more spectators than the current restrictions.

 

Under the agreement, The All England Club will start the tournament welcoming 50% of it’s ground capacity to the venue which is more than double what was estimated a few weeks ago. The limit will gradually increase as the tournament progresses until finals weekend when both the women’s and men’s title matches will be played in front of 15,000 fans. Making it the first outdoor sporting event in the country that will take place in front of a full capacity crowd since the country went into it’s first lockdown last year.

The announcement coincides with the British government announcing a four-week extension to their plans of ending all restrictions currently in place due to the pandemic. The delay has been triggered due to concerns related to the Indian variant and its transmission rate. However, Wimbledon has been added to the Events Research Program which is a series of pilot events being used to monitor the spead of COVID-19 at sporting and entertainment events.

“We are continuing to work closely with the Government to finalise the details including the requirements for Covid-status certification for spectators,” the All England Club said in a statement.
“We are pleased to have worked closely with the government, public health bodies, and our local authority in Merton, to confirm that, as part of this next phase of pilot events, the Championships 2021 will begin on Monday 28 June with 50% capacity across the grounds, building to full capacity crowds of 15,000 on Centre Court for the finals weekend.
“This will enable us to fulfil our aspiration of staging the best Wimbledon possible within the current circumstances, with the health and safety of all those who make Wimbledon happen – our guests, competitors, members, staff, media, officials, local residents, and partners – remaining our highest priority.”

Last year Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time in the Open Era and was the only major not to take place. However, the grass-court major had the luxury of having pandemic insurance which substantially helped cover their costs. The tournament does not have such a policy this year however.

The Wimbledon Championships will start on June 28th. Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep are the defending champions.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending