Hello, Kita! Welcome to London. When did you arrive and what have you been up to?
I got here yesterday. I asked my agent what the equivalent is in the UK to [US pharmacy chain] Walgreens. He said Boots. I was like: “Why is it called Boots?” [It’s named after a bald man from Nottinghamshire named John Boot – Chemist Ed]
How did you get into tennis?
My father was a tennis player. He took me to play when I was eight [and] I picked it up right away. Even when I’m upset and I’m [being] really hard on myself, just having the ball hit the racquet – there’s something so euphoric about it.
How do you play?
I have a really weird forehand grip. You have continental, which you serve with, and then eastern. Give me a second to grab my racquet and I’ll show you… [Kita proceeds to get a racquet and demonstrate her best serving grip] And then my grip is like this! When I looked it up, it was called Hawaiian. I think there have only been two professionals on tour who have been successful [using that grip] at the highest level.
What would you wear as a spectator at Wimbledon?
If I was [going to] Centre Court then I would wear something chic. Maybe a nice Oscar de la Renta. It’s Americana, beautiful, elevated…
Do you have a favourite British player?
Naomi Broady. She has a one-handed backhand – you don’t really see that anymore for women. She’s an intense player who plays with passion. I love that. I don’t follow men’s tennis as closely, I just prefer to watch women play.
Who’s your tennis hero?
Venus Williams. I remember seeing her from a young age. She’s tall, like I am, and a Black woman in sport, and she handles everything with grace. Watching her play at Wimbledon was one of my first memories.
How about modelling?
I mean, it’s Naomi Campbell. Who doesn’t say that? She’s just the one.
HAIR Pål Berdahl at LGA Management MAKE-UP Thomasin Waite MANICURIST Cherrie Snow PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT Casey Ward STYLIST ASSISTANT Alex Arauz