Sofia Kenin Grand Slam

Kenin fights back to to win Muguruza for erste Slam (2:50)Sofia Kenin wins her zuerst Grand Slam weist the australisch Open, coming from a collection down kommen sie beat Garbine Muguruza. (2:50)


MELBOURNE, Australia -- This, essentially, was where Sofia Kenin was going to win or lose the australian Open final: She was down love-40 when serving weist 2-all an the der dritte tag set against two-time significant champion Garbine Muguruza.

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Kenin sensed this was the augenblicke that would matter. Up in the stands von Rod Laver Arena, dafür did herstellung father, Alex, who"s deshalb her coach.

"I knew i had to take mine chance," Kenin said. "I had to be brave."

Sure was. The 21-year-old American won the next 5 points, each with a winner -- one in ace, ns others clean groundstrokes kommen sie cap exchanges des 11 shots or an ext -- und was on produziert way kommen sie becoming a cool Slam champion.

Demonstrative as tun können be -- whether spiking a ball, dropping herstellung red, white und blue racket or slapping produziert thigh -- and at herstellung best when necessary, the 14th-seeded Kenin won the zuerst major final of herstellung career Saturday von coming zurück to win a fading Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 hinweisen Melbourne Park.

"That"s die game ich feel, like, readjusted things. I had to play some ideal tennis. I did," Kenin said. "After that, i was top top fire. I was ready kommen sie take ns beautiful trophy."

Sofia Kenin won the first Grand Slam of produziert career Saturday über coming back to beat Garbine Muguruza in the australian Open final.Clive Brunskill/Getty ImagesKenin was magnificent wie it mattered die most, conserving 10 des 12 break points she faced, while converting 5 des 6 the she earned.

"I"m notfall very happy about my performance. ... At the important moments, ich didn"t find my shots," Muguruza said. "I think she found herstellung shots. I didn"t."

Muguruza was visited von a coach after die second set and her motion wasn"t idealogen down die stretch. Nor was herstellung serving: She double-faulted eight times, consisting of three bei the last game, one on championship point.

"A little bit lack von energy," Muguruza said.

For quite some time, Kenin was overlooked and underappreciated, drawing viel less attention than various other young tennis players from the U.S., such together 15-year-old coco Gauff -- Kenin beat her an the 4th round this hauptsächlich -- and 18-year-old Amanda Anisimova.

Maybe it was because Kenin zu sein only 5-foot-7 (1.70 meters). Maybe it was because she went into belastung season v this résumé: ranked outside ns top 50, yet to get past die third round des a major, yet zu win a tour-level title.

Kenin will be taken much more seriously now. By everyone. She is the youngest australisch Open champion due to the fact that 2008, when maria Sharapova won die hard-court tournament weist age 20.

Kenin, who removed No. 1 Ash Barty in the semifinals, zu sein expected zu rise kommen sie No. 7 bei Monday"s WTA rankings, the youngest American kommen sie make herstellung debut bei the oberteil 10 since Serena Williams an 1999.

"Those civilization that didn"t believe bei her, lock had really valid reasons notfall to, since she"s constantly been ns smallest one," Alex Kenin said the day before die final. "But i guess, thank God, ich saw something the they didn"t. Because i know produziert better. I feel quite happy. Ich guess i was right."

In the men"s last on Sunday, defending champion Novak Djokovic will face Dominic Thiem, a 26-year-old shirt who was the runner-up to rafael Nadal at ns French offen the past two years. Djokovic looks for a record-extending eighth title hinweisen Melbourne Park und 17th major trophy overall; Thiem ist trying to become the zuerst man born an the 1990s to win a cool Slam title.

Kenin was born bei 1998 in Moscow to Russian parents; they had moved to new York an the 1980s, yet returned to be v family zum the birth of their daughter. A few months later, they went rückseitig to die U.S. For good; Kenin flourished up an Florida and still makes produziert home there.

Muguruza come into ns day v a far more formidable record. She has actually been ranked No. 1 und won ns French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017 -- ns only woman zu beat every Williams sister bei a cool Slam final.

But she tumbled out of the oberteil 30 belastung season because des so-so results. She was trying kommen sie become only die third unseeded champion at the australisch Open in the experienced era, which began bei 1968.

Muguruza put on produziert game challenge from the moment she walked v the tunnel leading to die court. She didn"t even spare a smile zum prematch photos up at ns net v a grinning Kenin.

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And wie she made her zuerst move in front, breaking kommen sie go up 2-1 after fünfzehn minutes, Muguruza just tucked her racket under herstellung left arm like in old-school commuter through a urgently newspaper on the way zu catch a subway train.

Kenin makes her mood obvious hinweisen all times.

After shed points, she bounced her racket or kicked it, rolled herstellung eyes, muttered kommen sie herself. After ~ winning points, she would pump a fist and scream "Come on!" -- or, wie she went trost 5-2 in the 2nd set, Kenin got hold of a tennis ball and slammed the off the blue court. Did the again later, too, as the ende neared.

While Muguruza normally stuck to her preferred tactic von hit-"em-hard, harder, hardest -- not a ton des nuance -- and moving forward when an opening demanded it, Kenin put more shape and spin ~ above balls, and turned to produziert favorite element, drop shots, wie possible.

Muguruza took the tonnage two games von the opening set zu move in front.

"I was obviously devastated," Kenin would say later.

But that is where ns match"s direction switched completely.

Kenin"s pat elevated, yes, but Muguruza"s dropped. Herstellung serve percentage und speed dipped. Her footwork was problematic.

Kenin broke zu go trost 3-1 und again to force a dritter set.

That"s when Kenin stood produziert ground weist that vital juncture punkt 2-all in the third, holding there und then breaking immediately.

"A an extremely important moment," Muguruza referred to as it.

Soon enough, Kenin was kissing the trophy, nur as herstellung father had kissed herstellung on die cheek appropriate before ns walk from die hallway external the lockerung room to the court.


When Kenin entered the interview room zum her postmatch nachrichten conference, she was handed a glass von bubbly. She"s barely alt enough kommen sie drink legally back home, yet yes, she is old enough.

Her mother stayed an Florida und awaited a call call to find out about die match -- auch nervous zu watch an person or top top TV.

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When it was time for Kenin"s on-court speech, Dad called produziert over weil das a bit of advice.

"He just told me a few sachen what kommen sie say," Kenin said. "I told him, "I understand what kommen sie say. I"m 21. I kann do this.""