Sofia Kenin beats Garbine Muguruza to win Australian Open

American seals 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over the Spaniard at Melbourne Park

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America's Sofia Kenin stunned Garbine Muguruza to win the Australian Open in her first Grand Slam final on Saturday, becoming the youngest player to lift the trophy in 12 years.

Kenin, 21, showed all her trademark aggression as she fought back from a set down to beat the two-time Grand Slam champion it 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in 2hrs 3mins.

At 21 years and 80 days, Kenin is 22 days younger than Japan's Naomi Osaka when she won the title last year. She is the youngest champion since Maria Sharapova won aged 20 in 2008.

The 14th seed, who will now jump as high as seventh in the world and usurp Serena Williams as America's No 1, was in tears at the end and headed straight for her father Alex, who is also her coach.

It was the final surprise in a tournament of upsets, where Williams went out in the third round and Kenin upset Australia's world No 1 Ashleigh Barty in the semi-finals.

A child prodigy who had remained surprisingly under the radar despite beating Serena Williams at the French Open last year, Kenin has quickly built a reputation for intelligence and feistiness.

She appeared to relish being booed by the crowd during that victory over Williams in Paris, and greeted the biggest moments in this match as if she was insulted by them.

The five points she played to hold serve from 0-40 at 2-2 in the deciding set were not just the key to the match but a demonstration of a very special talent and mentality.

Kenin's father, who moved the family to America from Russia when his daughter was a baby to give her a better life, could barely watch as the finish line approached.

But it was Muguruza who faltered, a double fault on Kenin's second match point handing the stunned American victory.

After receiving the trophy from Lindsay Davenport 20 years after her title, Kenin said: "This is my first speech but I'm going to try my best.

"First off I want to congratulate Garbine on a great match and a great tournament. I'm sure we're going to have many more finals.

"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.

"Last but not least I want to thank my team, my dad. I can't believe we're here today. I'm so grateful for this."

Muguruza had been hoping to win her third slam title having emerged from the wilderness under the guidance again of Conchita Martinez, with whom she lifted the Wimbledon title in 2017.

But she could find no way to disrupt Kenin's march to the title, and a new position as the leading American in the rankings.

Muguruza held back tears as she said after the final: "I think I'm going to keep it short because I'm going to get very emotional.

"Congratulations Sofia, I think you played an incredible match, incredible tournament. I think we're going to see you play more finals for sure."

Kenin came to the match with a game plan, mixing deft drop shots with her deep forehand groundstrokes to catch Muguruza by surprise initially.

But the Spaniard soon found her range and converted her third break-point in the third game to nose ahead in the opening set.

Kenin, who beat Ash Barty in the semi-final despite trailing the world number one for most of the match, refused to throw in the towel and boosted her confidence by saving four breakpoints to hold the seventh game.

She was rewarded for her tenacity in the next game with two consecutive double faults from Muguruza that gave the American a break back, and brought the set back on serve.

But the Spaniard came out firing on all cylinders to break the Moscow-born Kenin again and took the opening set when her opponent missed the sideline with her forehand.

Kenin took the court in the second set with renewed vigour as the power behind her shots went up a notch. She got the break in the fourth game and then a confident hold gave her a 4-1 lead.

There was no comeback for Muguruza from there as the American levelled the match with the second break of her serve.

The intensity of the deciding set rose considerably with Muguruza slapping her thigh to egg herself on while Kenin was almost reduced to tears out of frustration at some of her shots.

Down 0-40 in the fifth game and with her back to the wall, Kenin probably produced her best tennis. She painted the sidelines with three scorching winners while also producing an ace to hold serve for 3-2.

A fifth double fault from the Spaniard gave Kenin a 4-2 lead, and she was suddenly within striking distance of victory, which she sealed by breaking her opponent again.

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