Monday, June 24, 2024

Ksenia Efremova, future star of women’s tennis, becomes French national

Must read

“This is great news for Ksenia, her family and the team around her,” her agent Loïc Martin confirmed to Tennis
Majors. “This is the culmination of a career and life project that are extremely clear for Ksenia and her mother Julia. They feel at home here and are determined to carry France’s colours high throughout Ksenia’s career. It’s a source of immense pride and great joy for the whole family.”

“When I received the letter of naturalisation, I was happy, surprised, shocked in the good sense of the word,” replied the player. “It changes a lot of things, it’s almost like a new career. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of support.”

Ksenia Efremova, winner of the Tennis Europe 2022 Masters U14| © Tennis Majors

Currently ranked No 2 in her U14 category by Tennis Europe rankings with just seven tournaments played, she will now be playing for France. Efremova, her mother and her two brothers – now also naturalised – live near the Mouratoglou academy, located between Nice and Cannes, where the player has been training daily since the end of 2019.

Efremova arrived in France at the age of ten, which is the minimum age for Patrick Mouratoglou’s Champseed foundation, created in 2014. Coco Gauff, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Holger Rune and Lorenzo Musetti have all benefited from its help for the families of players with an exceptional aptitude for tennis and the goal of becoming professionals.

French tennis fans have become become familiar with Efremova’s small figure, long blonde hair and
quality of her hitting stroke after a video of exchanges with Richard Gasquet, captured in June 2020 during the UTS competition. Tennis Majors told you her story and that of her family a few weeks later.

Julia et Ksenia Efremova, 2020
Julia and Ksenia Efremova, 2020, soon after they came to France | © Tennis Majors

It was precisely the exceptional dimension of the player’s potential which had a decisive effect on the French authorities’ decision to accelerate her application. The signature of French president Emmanuel Macron is necessary in such specific cases. The FFT has helped the case to move forward, as president Gilles Moretton confirmed to us in spring 2022.

Efremova will represent France in team competitions in her age category. It is worth reiterating that the top-ranked Frenchwoman at U14 level is currently 72nd, and of players born in 2005 and later, France has no player in the Top 100.

Ksenia Efremova, Tennis Europe 2022, Montecarlo (c) Tennis Majors
Ksenia Efremova, Tennis Europe 2022| © Tennis Majors

According to our information, the application for naturalisation began in early 2021, which is also when Ksenia Efremova began taking French lessons. The player, who will celebrate her 15th birthday next year, is fluent in English and has set herself the goal of being able to express herself fully in French next spring.

“I understand all conversations in French,” Efremova said in very good French. “I can express myself on fairly simple things. What I want now is to be perfectly bilingual, able to express myself on everything, when I am 15 years old – as quickly as possible, of course, but otherwise in six months.”

Efremova has a special private teacher at home: her brother Vova. Aged five, he has been schooled in France since his first year of kindergarten and speaks French fluently.

“The other day he naturally said to me: ‘Where is my pencil?’” smiled Ksenia.

Winner in particular of the Masters Tennis Europe a year in advance of her age group in 2022, semi-finalist at the Petit As in 2023, Efremova is already playing on the ITF Juniors under-18 circuit, where she won five titles in
categories grade 4 and 5, notably the first one of those just nine days after celebrating her 13th birthday. Currently 153rd in the world in the category, she is now dedicated to this junior circuit, as she announced on Instagram to her almost 50,000 followers a few days ago. She will also compete in her first senior ITF tournaments in the coming months, perhaps as early as the end of this season.

Efremova, whose game is marked by a lot of aggression on both flanks, is trained by Pierre Debrosse, coach at the Mouratoglou academy, and supervised by her mother Julia Efremova, once ranked 193rd in the world. Ksenia’s father died in 2022 from cancer. He never lived in France but visited his family several times on the Côte d’Azur before his death in Germany.

Efremova’s first big meeting with the French public expected to take place at Roland Garros in 2024, when she will first appears in the junior draw. “My goal is to qualify for the next junior Grand Slam tournaments thanks to my ranking from the Australian Open,” she confirms, adding: “And I will represent France there.”

Ksenia Efremova at Les Petits As
Ksenia Efremova at Les Petits As (Image Credit: Tennis Majors/ Panoramic)

Latest article