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Kenin defeats Muguruza 4-6 6-2 6-2 to win the Australian Open
Last update: 01/02/20 11:21 am
Sofia Kenin won her first Grand Slam title after defeating Garbine Muguruza in the Australian singles final of the Australian Open on Saturday.
Following in the footsteps of Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty and Bianca Andreescu, the American Kenin produced a brilliant performance in her first grand final, coming from a set to win 4-6 6-2 6-2.
Kenin, who was a prodigy girl marked by stardom at an early age, while making her US Open debut at age 16, will ascend to seventh position in the WTA ranking after building an intelligence reputation and fight
"This is my first speech, but I will do my best," Kenin said after receiving the Lindsay Davenport trophy 20 years after his title.
"First I want to congratulate Garbine for a great game and a great tournament. I am sure we will have many more finals."
"My dream officially came true, I can't even describe this feeling. It's so emotional. I've worked so hard. If you have a dream, make it come true.
"Last but not least, I want to thank my team, my father. I can't believe we're here today. I'm very grateful for this."
Both players found themselves trapped in a relentless baseline battle in the early stages of a surprise final under a closed roof at Rod Laver Arena after a cool and rainy afternoon in Melbourne.
The 21-year-old American, playing in her first grand final, managed to defend herself from three break points before finally being invaded by the Spaniard in the third game.
Kenin won a seventh marathon game after saving four break opportunities before Muguruza, a former world No. 1, capitulated in service in the next game to deliver the 14th seed on a route to a fascinating competition.
But Kenin was frustrated again when Muguruza, 26, broke up before successfully completing the set in 52 minutes.
Kenin, who beat Muguruza at his only previous meeting in Beijing last year, was getting well when he claimed his third game of love service to advance 2-1 in the second set before the 21-year-old Russian became a vital break when the Spanish sprayed its reverse of the brand.
From there, Kenin walked with determination towards the second set, eventually taking 6-2 with another break.
The Spaniard, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro during the low season, received medical attention for a back problem before the start of the decisive set, although she did not seem to restrict her movement.
Kenin had never been beyond the fourth round in a Slam before, but he showed his great game mentality by finishing the 15-year-old Coco Gauff race and then defeating Ashleigh Barty, world number 1, in the semifinals.
And he continued to show that change in mentality by producing a series of impressive winners to keep the service from 0-40 to 2-2 on the decisive set.
Kenin's father and coach, Alex, who moved the family to the United States from Russia when his daughter was a baby to give her a better life, could barely look.
Muguruza dropped the service in the next game and then made a double mistake in the second game point of the American after two hours and three minutes.
"I think I'm going to keep it short because I'm going to get very emotional," said Muguruza, who was forced to hold back the tears.
"Congratulations Sofia, I think you played an incredible match, an incredible tournament. I think we will see you play more finals."
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