01 February 2020

Sofia Kenin fights back from set down to beat Garbine Muguruza in thriller and clinch first Grand Slam title at Australian Open

American Sofia Kenin was crowned the 2020 Australian Open champion after she fought back from a set down to beat Garbine Muguruza for her first Grand Slam title.

The 21 year-old defeated her Spanish opponent 4-6 6-2 6-2 in a thrilling, gruelling match that lasted two hours and five minutes.

After a first set in which Muguruza got the better of the exchanges thanks to her superior power, Kenin showed her grit and determination to battle back and take the match to a third set.

And the Moscow-born youngster was able to finish off her more experienced opponent with some excellent baseline endurance to secure a maiden Slam crown.

It was Muguruza who started the fresher as she took the first break of the match midway through the opening set, her strength and aggression proving too much for Kenin.

The Spaniard then looked to assert her dominance as she brought up three more break points, only for the American to battle back and hold.

And Kenin's refusal to give up on the first set was rewarded when she broke back to level things up at 4-4.

But it didn't last long as Muguruza responded with some brilliant returning to break and hold her nerve to take the opening set.

However, there was a sea change at the start of the second set as Kenin began to hold with ease and Muguruza was clearly struggling in the longer rallies.

And the No 14 seed made her pressure pay as she capitalised on her first break point of the set once again to take a 3-1 lead.

Kenin continued to serve impressively and broke Muguruza again at the end of the second set to send the match and championship to a decider.

In the opening stages of the final set, the two-time Wimbledon champion brought up three break points to take a 3-2 lead, but for the second time in the match Kenin fought back to hold with some superb, arrow-like shots down the line.

Then Muguruza was made to pay for her missed chances as Kenin claimed the crucial break to put the Australian Open title within her grasp.

And a double fault on match point from the Spaniard sent Kenin into shock as she realised her dream of a Grand Slam victory had just been realised.

After the match, Kenin said: "My dream has officially come true.

"Dreams come true. If you have a dream then go for it - it will come true. These two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life."

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