Tennis young gun's adorable photo with Anna Kournikova resurfaces

A heartwarming old photo has re-emerged on social media after Sofia Kenin's superb Australian Open semi-final win against Australia's Ash Barty.

American 14th seed Kenin ended the host nation's hopes of a first female winner at the Australian Open in 42 years after downing Barty 7-6 (8-6) 7-5.

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The Moscow-born Kenin saved two set points in each set before securing a victory which ensured she would break into the world top 10 for the first time.

"I was telling myself, I believe in myself," she said.

"If I lose the set, I'm still going to come out and believe.

"I really did a great job with it and I didn't give up.

"I knew it was a tough match.

"Of course, some things didn't go my way with the challenges and some great shots she came up with, but I didn't let that stop me.

Born in Russia before moving to America at a young age, Kenin grew up idolising fellow Moscovite Anna Kournikova.

Like Kenin, 38-year-old Kournikova has fond memories of the Australian Open after reaching doubles finals in 1999 and 2002.

With the pair's lives following similar trajectories, it explains why a cute photo of the former Russian star hugging a young Kenin features on the 21-year-old star's personal website.

Kenin famously declared as a seven-year-old that she could return a serve from big-hitting American legend Andy Roddick.

The clip has since gone viral on Twitter.

Retired former men's world No.1 Roddick was among the first people to congratulate Kenin on her victory over Barty on Thursday.

"This girl has become the goods! Kick ass and bring home the title @SofiaKenin. So cool," he tweeted.

‘I've worked so hard’

Kenin's semi-final triumph saw her move within one win of becoming the first American man or woman to win a major title since Sloane Stephens at the 2017 US Open.

"I always believed I can (do this)," Kenin said.

"Of course I didn't have a book.

"I didn't know exactly when.

"I feel like at this young age, I think it's incredible.

"Not everyone gets to live this moment, live this dream. I'm just really grateful for it.

Sofia Kenin embraces Ash Barty after her the semi-final win at the Australian Open.
Sofia Kenin apologised to Aussie fans after beating Ash Barty in the semi-final.

"I've worked so hard. I've put all the efforts into my practices, into my fitness.

"All the efforts I've been doing, it's got me here.

"It's just paying off and it's like a dream come true for me.

“I’m so speechless. I honestly can’t believe this. I’ve just dreamt about this since … that Andy Roddick video.”

The 14th-seeded Kenin will play Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in Saturday night's final after the two-time major winner ousted Romanian Simona Halep 7-6 (10-8) 7-5.

Barty was gracious enough to acknowledge that the American played the big points better on Thursday in a semi-final played in sweltering heat before a parochial crowd on Rod Laver Arena.

Kenin had a breakthrough victory against her idol Serena Williams in the third round of last year's French Open before losing in the next round to eventual champion Barty.

With agencies