Yet another new Grand Slam has been crowned in women’s tennis. Saturday night at the Australian Open, Sofia Kenin capped her Cinderella run collecting her first Grand Slam title stunning former No. 1 Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
“I just want to say that my dream has officially true, I can’t even describe this feeling,” Kenin told the crowd. “It’s so emotional and I’ve worked so hard and I’m just so grateful to be standing here.
“Dreams come true, so if you have one, go for it,” she added. “These past two weeks have been the best of my life. I have to thank the crowd, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”
The 21-year-old Kenin had never before even reached a Slam quarterfinal, but she upset No. 1 Ash Barty in the semifinals then came from a set down to defeat the Spaniard going away.
“Congratulations Sofia, you played an incredible match, an incredible tournament. You deserve the trophy,” said Muguruza.
“I think we are going to see you in more final like this for sure.”
Behind her powerful serve, Muguruza was in charge of the match early. Though, like a pest, Kenin wouldn’t go away, tracking balls down, mixing in drop shots and belting her own winners. Muguruza would take the opener but Kenin broke early in the second and coasted to a decider.
Kenin broke early again the the third then dug out of a 3-2, 0-40 hole. She then broke Muguruza for a second from 40-15 time this in part to the Spaniard’s ill-timed three double faults in the last game, culminating with her eighth on match point.
Kenin, a Florida native, had big wins last year, beating Serena the French then Barty, Naomi Osaka and Elina Svitolina over the summer, but a Grand Slam title this early in her career was not expected.
Kenin becomes the youngest American woman to win a Slam since 20-year-old Serena Williams at the 2002 US Open. Now, she’ll be ranked ahead of the 23-time Grand Slam champion on Monday.
Muguruza, aiming to become the first Spanish woman to win an Australian Open, couldn’t maintin her strong first set, and was 0/3 on break points in the third, failing to get that 0-40 game at 3-2.
“I’m not very happy about my performance,” assessed Muguruza. “At the important moments, I didn’t find my shots… I think she found her shots. I didn’t.”
Kenin won just her fourth career title but takes home AUS 4.12M.
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