Sofia Kenin is the new Australian Open champion. The American player defeated Garbine Muguruza in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. The 21-year old won her first Grand Slam.
“My dream has officially come true,” Kenin said. “If you have a dream, go for it, because it can come true.”
She displayed a fantastic mental strength as she rallied back to defeat a much-experienced player, who already won two Grand Slam finals.
Kenin found the way out from almost an impossible situation in the fifth game of the third set once Muguruza had love to 40, and was near making a break. The rallies we witnessed during those few minutes and her astonishing comeback were superb. Muguruza was playing fantastic, but on the other side, her rival was even better, displaying some amazing strikes.
Once she got away from this position, Kenin’s morale was boosted, and Muguruza was completely devastated. She couldn’t recover from this setback, and was swept from the court pretty fast.
The player born in Venezuela opened the match better, and already in the third set took the service from Kenin. What happened after that electrified the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena. In the seventh game of the same set, Muguruza had four break-point chances but failed to use at least one. That probably boosted the morale of the American player who made a re-break, to level the score.
Almost instantly Muguruza responded, and afterward kept her own service, capturing the first set with 6-4.
If the first set saw a massive fight, the second was totally the opposite — Kenin trashed Muguruza, who didn’t know what hit her on several occasions. She would make two breaks so confidently that her opponent just stood and watch as her advantage melts down. After three opening games, Kenin broke the rival’s serve for 3-1, and she would later finish the set with another break.
Muguruza’s Errors Cost Too Much
Kenin didn’t convert just one of her six break-points, while on the other side, Muguruza only two of twelve.
As one of the main reasons why Muguruza lost, we need to point out the number of unforced errors. She had 45 of them and 17 alone in the last set. On the other side, Kenin had just 23. Also, the Spaniard’s first serve was 57%.
Coming up to the finals, Kenin, the American of Russian origins, made several excellent results, among which the elimination of Coco Gauff and the world No.1 Ashleigh Barty. Meanwhile,
Muguruza had several big names on her path – Simona Halep, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Kiki Bertens, Elina Svitolina.
She was on her way to becoming the first unseeded winner of the tournament since Serena Williams 13 years ago.
This was a wonderful way for the 21-year old girl to fulfill her childhood dreams. And may we add, that Kenin had a complex life, which isn’t going to be a subject in this text. After Maria Sharapova in 2008, Sofia is the youngest AO champion, and if she continues to play like this in the future, we will probably see her a couple of more times lifting the trophy.