Melbourne, Feb 1 (IANS) American 14th seed Sofia Kenin on Saturday beat two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza in the final of the 2020 Australian Open to win her maiden title at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. In a match that lasted two hours and three minutes, Kenin came from a game down to beat Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
This was Kenin”s first Grand Slam final and with this she will rise to a career high ranking of No.7. She is the youngest to win the title since Maria Sharapova in 2008.
The new WTA ranking makes her the highest ranked American and also the youngest from her country to enter the top 10 since Serena Williams. She is also the only singles player from her country apart from Serena to have won the Australian Open since 2002.
The third set was much closer than what the score suggests. Both players held their serves and Muguruza raced to a 40-0 lead at 2-2 on Kenin”s serve. However the 21-year-old fought back and managed to hold. She took the momentum to the next game where she broke Muguruza and increased her lead to 4-2.
Another hold took her to 5-2 and thus a break away from the championship. Muguruza was leading 40-15 but Kenin managed to fight back to deuce. A double fault from Muguruza in the end won Kenin the title.
Muguruza had a tough draw, beating Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Simona Halep on her way to the final. The match against Halep was a hard fought two-set win and the run seemed to have taken a toll on her as she had needed to be checked by the physio during the final on Saturday.
Kenin had earlier beaten World no.1 and home favourite Ashleigh Barty in two sets. She beat teen sensation Coco Gauff in the fourth round and Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur in the quarters before that.