The Freedoms have one of the best rosters in World TeamTennis, and it just got stronger with the addition of Sofia Kenin for the full season.
Kenin was scheduled to play in three matches with the Freedoms before the season was postponed. Later, the league announced that the season would be played at a central location — The Greenbrier — a luxury resort in West Virginia.
The Freedoms will arrive by July 10 in White Sulphur Springs, W.V. The team is expected to be tested for COVID-19, then there will be a 24-hour waiting period for results.
Any player or coach who tests positive upon arrival will be removed from the league without pay. If it happens during the season, they’ll be removed and paid on a prorated basis. The players will also receive regular temperature checks throughout the league’s play.
After entering new negotiations, Kenin and the Freedoms decided that it’s best for her to stay in West Virginia during the entire season. One of the reasons was to minimize health risks.
“It’s great for us, we’re really excited about it,” Freedoms president Barbara Perry said. “I think Sofia is very excited to play TeamTennis anyway, so this really works out well for her. She has a really nice relationship with our owner, Billie Jean King, and I think all of that is great and works out in our favor.”
Kenin, 21, vaulted to the top of the tennis world by winning the Australian Open in January. She is currently the world’s No. 4-ranked women’s singles player, and she’s the top-ranked player in WTT.
A full season of Kenin plus the rest of the Freedoms roster will make them one of the favorites to win the championship. Taylor Townsend and Fabrice Martin’s track records in WTT are littered with accolades. Donald Young is also entering his fourth season with the Freedoms, and 21-year-old Caroline Dolehide, the No. 3-ranked American’s women’s doubles player, will be making her debut.
“It’s a great team,” Perry said. “They’re all really strong players. Having three TeamTennis veterans really helps us, and they can help Sofia and Caroline acclimate to this format."
Kenin will be making her debut in the league. World TeamTennis uses an accumulated scoring method and the game is played at a much faster pace.
“I think the style of her play is going to lend itself well to the TeamTennis format,” Perry said. “She’s an aggressive player.”