After being overpowered by Garbine Muruguza in the opening set of the Australian Open final, the 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin shifted into a higher gear from set number two, scoring a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph over a two-time Major winner to embrace tennis glory!
Winning three titles and moving closer to the place in the top-10 in 2019, Kenin was ready to seek big dreams in the new season, toppling seven rivals in Melbourne to become the youngest champion here since 2008 and Maria Sharapova.
With the momentum on her side, Kenin held at 15 in the first game of the final set following a backhand error from Muguruza who served well in game two for a hold at love and an important game on her tally after a mediocre second set that she had to leave behind as quickly as possible.
Sofia stayed on a strong course on serve, bringing the third game home at 30 and hoping for a chance on the return after a break. Garbine had other plans, though, securing that game with a smash winner and creating three break chances in the next one that could have sent her closer to the finish line.
Facing an ultimate challenge, the youngster fired a backhand down the line winner to erase the first one, repelling the second with a similar shot and taking down the third with a forehand down the line winner, producing her best tennis when she needed it the most to hold with another forehand winner and stay 3-2 in front.
Wasting a 40-0 advantage on the return for the second time in the match, Garbine had to remain calm and make a solid hold in the next game, netting a backhand to keep Sofia in at deuce. The Spaniard sprayed a backhand error to offer a break chance to the American, gifting a serve away after a double fault to find herself 4-2 down!
Firing from all cylinders, Kenin held in game seven with a service winner, moving a game away from her maiden Major title at such a young age. Serving at 2-5, Muguruza hit another double fault to give serve away and allow the rival to celebrate the first out of many Major titles.