Australian Open: Kenin defeats Muguruza for his first Grand Slam title
MELBOURNE: American Sofia Kenin he counterattacked his way back from a set against Garbine Muguruza to win it first Grand slam title in the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Kenin, seeded 14th at Melbourne Park, converted her second matchpoint against the twice Grand slam champion, who double faulted on the final point, to end an engrossing contest that lasted more than two hours.
Kenin and Muguruza produced an appropriate and intense finish under the closed roofs of a packed Rod Laver Arena.
Muguruza had arrived in Melbourne suffering from a virus that forced her to leave Hobart International, but the Spanish soon returned to play with her strength that helped her reach the top spot in the women's ranking in 2017.
Good job boy! 👏 Kenin becomes the youngest single female champion #AusOpen since Maria Sharapova in 2008. ... https://t.co/DVc1338SeU - #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 1580554466000
However, some of the inconsistencies that led her to fall to position 36 in the ranking last year resurfaced against Kenin, as the Spanish blew hot and cold with her service, obtaining 57% of her first services while mixing her nine Aces with eight double fouls.
Kenin arrived at the game with a game plan, mixing skillful shots with his deep right shots to take Muguruza by surprise initially.
But the Spanish soon found her rank and turned her third break point in the third game to get ahead in the first set.
Kenin, who beat Ash barty In the semifinal despite being behind the world number one for most of the game, he refused to throw in the towel and increased his confidence by saving four break points to celebrate the seventh game.
She was rewarded for her tenacity in the next game with two consecutive double fouls by Muguruza that gave the American a break and returned the set to service.
But the Spanish shot at full speed to break again Kenin, born in Moscow, and took the first set when his opponent lost the bench with his right.
Kenin took the court in the second set with renewed vigor when the power behind his shots increased one level. He got the break in the fourth game and then a sure grip gave him a 4-1 lead.
There was no return for Muguruza from there, as the American leveled the game with the second break from her service.
The intensity of the decisive set increased considerably with Muguruza hitting his thigh to light while Kenin was almost crying in frustration at some of his shots.
Down 0-40 in the fifth game and with his back to the wall, Kenin probably produced his best tennis . He painted on the sidelines with three scorching winners while also producing an ace to keep the service 3-2.
A fifth double foul by the Spaniard gave Kenin a 4-2 lead, and he was suddenly at a surprising distance from the victory, which he sealed by breaking his opponent again.