The 2020 Australian Open women’s singles tournament is in the books and it ended in glory for 21 year old American Sofia Kenin. Kenin battled back from a set down to beat accomplished Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 4-6 6-2 6-2 in a battle where Kenin was dominant after dropping the first set and never surrendered her advantage from that point over the course of a hard fought two hour match.
Despite her inexperience in slam finals compared to the two-time slam champion Muguruza, Kenin was the most steady and reliable player, of the pair, while the second serve faltered for the Spaniard, with Kenin winning over two thirds of Muguruza’s second serve points. Kenin would disappointingly give away two first set breaks and face pressure on serve all through the first set, but recovered well in set 2 breaking Muguruza twice with confidence and no longer facing pressure on her own serve.
Set 3 saw Muguruza have a chance to regain control of the match at 2-2, but Kenin saved two break points and broke the Spaniard in her next two service games, breaking to win the match on her second break point/match point opportunity. The American showed mettle and was clutch throughout, losing out on just one break point conversion (5/6) and saving 10 of 12 break points she faced on her own serve. The aggressive Muguruza struggled to control her serve and her baseline game with a negative winner/ue ratio and 8 double faults.
Other than in the first set, it was Kenin that looked most at ease dictating play from the baseline like a seasoned pro, even in the third set with everything on the line, the level of her game was well and truly above the more experienced Muguruza. The American will break into the top 10 for the first time after winning her first slam and is yet another star junior turned good after considerable family support, especially from her father. After a stellar 2019, this title is Kenin’s breakthrough to mainstream stardom and she certainly has enough game to win another slam and back up this title with many more impressive results. It was a strong tournament by all accounts that include an upset win against home hero and world #1 Ash Barty, and two three set victories.
For her part, Muguruza will keep aiming to win it all, she’s now reached at least the final in three of the four Grand Slams, with only the US Open missing from her trophy case. Winning the two hard court slams to secure a career Grand Slam is still quite plausible for the 26 year old, though that task looks a bit tougher today.