Latest 28 Dec 2017

Young American gets wildcard

by Julia Atkinson
Young American gets wildcard

Promising American teenager Sofia Kenin has been granted a wildcard in to the ASB Classic main draw.

The 19-year-old caught everyone’s attention at the US Open where she beat ASB Classic defending champion Lauren Davis and Sachia Vickery on her way to a third-round match up against her idol, Maria Sharapova. Kenin went toe to toe with the five-time Grand Slam champion before falling 75 62.

Tournament Director Karl Budge says, the ASB Classic has a rich history of identifying the next wave of tour stars. 

“We’ve had a great run with this over recent years with the likes of Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko, Ana Konjuh and Eugeinie Bouchard all going on to have very strong careers after starting in Auckland. 

We think there is a lot of potential in Sofia also.  She is a counterpuncher who has proven already she can win at the highest level.  She has had some great wins this year and her match with Sharapova at the US Open showed a lot of promise.  We are excited to give her a chance in Auckland”.

The young American has had a great year as she transitions from being a top junior (where she was number two in the world) to the Women’s game.  The tenacious teen made seven semi-final, 2 finals and won one title on the ITF circuit to be on the cusp of cracking the top 100, currently sitting at 108, her highest WTA ranking to date.

Kenin is grateful for the opportunity to get the wildcard and gain direct entry into the main draw, and can’t wait to get out on court for her first match of the 2018 season.