Former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin announced on Friday that her father will not coach her anymore as she is putting together a ‘new technical team.’
“I wanted to let everyone know that after many years together I have decided to part ways with my father as my coach,” the 22-year-old American tennis player wrote in an Instagram post.
“This was not an easy decision for me as we shared many great moments together and had a lot of success.
“I will be forever grateful for my dad’s sacrifice and contributions towards getting me to where I am today.
“I am excited for what the future holds and look forward to putting together a new technical team in the coming weeks ahead. I can’t wait to get back on the court next week in Rome.”
Kenin’s father, Alexander, has been one of the most important figures in her tennis journey.
Her parents migrated to the United States from the Soviet Union in the late 1990s, a few months after she was born, with less than $300 in their pocket.
Alexander took English and computer classes and worked as a driver for a car service at night. A recreational tennis player, he was the one who inspired the young Sofia and enrolled her into Rick Macci’s academy in Florida.
He was by the courtside as Kenin won the 2020 Australian Open and reached the final of the French Open later that year. He has also been warned for coaching from the stands at Grand Slam tournaments, including the 2020 French Open.
Kenin has been going through a slower start to 2021, with a record of just 7-7 heading into the Italian Open next week on red clay.
As the defending champion at the Australian Open this year, she lost in straight sets to Kaia Kanepi in the second round at Melbourne Park in February.
That began a winless streak, in which Kenin has lost five of her six most recent matches.