Kenin is new Aussie Open queen

Sofia Kenin won her maiden Grand Slam title after defeating Garbine Muguruza in the Australian Open women’s singles final on Saturday.

Following in the footsteps of Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty and Bianca Andreescu, American Kenin produced a brilliant performance in her first major final, coming from a set down to win 4-6 6-2 6-2.

Kenin, who was a child prodigy marked out for stardom at an early age, while she made her US Open debut at 16, will climb to seventh in the WTA rankings after building a reputation for intelligence and feistiness.

“My dream officially came true; I cannot even describe this feeling. It’s so emotional. I’ve worked so hard. If you have a dream, go for it, it’s going to come true.

Both players found themselves locked into a relentless baseline battle in the early stages of a surprise final under a closed roof on Rod Laver Arena following a cool, rainy afternoon in Melbourne.

Kenin, who beat Muguruza in their only previous meeting in Beijing last year had never previously been beyond the fourth round at a Slam but showed her big-match mentality by ending the run of 15-year-old Coco Gauff and then defeating world No 1 Ashleigh Barty in the semi-finals.

And she continued to show that frame of mind by producing a series of stunning winners to hold serve from 0-40 at 2-2 in the deciding set.

Kenin’s father and coach, Alex, who moved the family to America from Russia when his daughter was a baby to give her a better life, could barely watch. –Skysports

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