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Florida Jr. Tennis Profile: Sofia Kenin, Pembroke Pines

November 7, 2013 11:02 AM

By Colette Lewis, USTA Florida junior tennis columnist

 

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Sofia Kenin (photo: zootennis.com)

Although Sofia Kenin won't be 15 until mid-November, the Pembroke Pines resident has already made a name for herself among collegiate tennis players.


At the USTA Clay Court Invitational at Disney, hosted by Florida State, Kenin was among eight juniors selected by the USTA to compete against players from nine college programs at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.


Although none of the USTA juniors were seeded, Kenin and her counterpart, 17-year-old Peggy Porter of Texas, marched through the field to reach the final, which was streamed on ESPN3.


Kenin had announced her presence with a 6-0, 6-3 second-round victory over No. 4 seed Georgina Sellyn of Vanderbilt, then followed with a win over Stefania Hristov of Texas A&M, a 9-16 seed. In the quarterfinals and semifinals, Kenin -- known as Sonya to her friends -- earned consecutive wins over two of the country's top freshmen to reach the final.


Although she fell in the final to the 2014 University of Florida recruit Porter 6-2, 6-2, Kenin delivered impressive performances against older and more experienced competitors throughout the weekend.


Earlier in the month of October, Kenin had reached both the singles and doubles quarterfinals at the International Tennis Federation Grade B1 tournament in Tulsa, Okla., one of the most important ITF tournaments in the United States. Returning to her home state, Kenin went from the clay courts of Orlando to the hard courts of Boca Raton, where she reached the singles semifinals and, with Katerina Stewart, won the doubles title at the ITF Grade 4 at the Evert Tennis Academy.


All this success is nothing new for Kenin, who was the USTA 14s national champion last year, and reached the semifinals of the USTA 16s Nationals in San Diego this year. Coached by her father Alex, Kenin also has picked up two main draw wins this fall at $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournaments in Florida and South Carolina.
 
 

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