Like Varvara Gracheva, born in Russia and trained in France, Ksenia was born in Moscow, but she has lived in France for more than four years and obtained French nationality a few months ago, in September 2023. “Today is a very special day for me,” she wrote on Instagram in the caption of a photo in which she posed with a t-shirt in the colors of France and her passport. For a year, she has been learning French but still speaks mainly in English with her staff and in Russian with her mother.
The one who will celebrate her 15th birthday on April 28 could make the glory days of French tennis in the years to come. And it’s already starting in Melbourne. She brilliantly took advantage of the invitation offered by the FFT to reach the quarters of her first junior Grand Slam in a category where young players can play until they turn 18.
The prodigy joined the French technician's academy at the end of 2019. The one, who between the ages of eight and ten had won no less than 17 consecutive tournaments, has benefited from the support of the ChampSee system since the end of the year 2019. The Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas or the American Cori Gauff (also come from this financial and sporting aid sector. Efremova is now through Pierre Debrosse, still, within the academy of the former coach of Serena Williams. The latter told us two years ago about the former Russian nugget: "Everything is extreme about her. But the high level is excess. There is an exceptional energy and determination which radiate from her person. She has very high ambitions, that doesn't shock me because she puts her goals into practice. There aren't any children her age with such an assertive personality."
Ksenia comes from a tennis-loving family. Her mother, Julia, former 295th in the world, stopped her career very early to devote herself to her family life. Ksenia picked up her first racket when she was barely three years old, and her main sport was initially gymnastics. But it is with the little yellow ball that the prodigy expresses himself best. His daily life, his passion. His old dog was named Roger. That of his mother's brother-in-law is called Rafa. And for her birthday, two years ago, Ksenia had a new one called Richie, the nickname of Richard Gasquet…
At 14 years, 8 months and three days old, she won her first ITF title on the professional circuit (third division of world tennis) in Tunisia in Monastir last December. On this occasion, Efremova became the youngest player to win a title on this professional circuit in twenty years.
Le Figaro met her at 12 and she was already full of ambition. She was already hitting every ball like her life depended on it. The little blonde, 1.51 meters tall, with a mischievous eye, told us: “I want to be a legend and world number 1 at 16.” Just that! Under the very attentive eye of the owner, Patrick Mouratoglou, five to six people (coach, nutritionist, physio, etc.) were already gravitating around the champion seed. If she has had the staff of a pro for quite some time now, Ksenia also attracts the spotlight. Sponsored by Nike and Yonex, the gem displays enormous marketing potential. If the amounts of her contracts remain confidential - "a record for a 12-year-old sportswoman", specified her agent -, the Russian is already part of the digital campaigns of Yonex and Nike in 2022. Almost unheard of at that age , for the one who joined IMG when she was… 9 and a half years old.