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Australian Open 2020: Sofia Kenin beats Garbine Muguruza to become youngest champion in 12 years

Sofia Kenin rallied from one set down in the Australian Open final at the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 and claim her first Major title.

SNS | New Delhi |

Sofia Kenin has become the youngest Australian Open champion in 12 years after defeating Garbine Muguruza. Kenin rallied from one set down in the final at the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 and claim her first Grand Slam title.

Her victory resonates the growing dominance of the youngsters in the women’s game. The 21-year-old is merely 22 days younger than what Naomi Osaka was when she won in Melbourne last year. The last Major of 2019, the US Open, was won by 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu.

“My dream has officially come true. If you have a dream, go for it, because it can come true,” Kenin said during the prize distribution ceremony.

A two-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one, Muguruza started the match on a positive note. She broke Kenin early in the opening set and took a lead of 4-2. However, Kenin retaliated by saving four breakpoints and winning two back-to-back games to level the set at 4-4 before eventually losing it.

The American, though, staged a smooth comeback in the second set and surged ahead 5-2, breaking her opponent twice. While a backhand winner earner her the first set point of the match, a backhand error by Muguruza helped her win the set and bring the final into a level.

The 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon Open winner Muguruza’s movement appeared slowed in the final set as her trainers kept on advising her between sets. But she managed to remain in contention with Kenin in the first four games.

A netted forehand by Kenin handed Muguruza three break points but the latter failed to rise up to the occasion. An ace and a forehand after saving three break points gave Kenin the defining game of the setas as she edged towards the glory.

Though Muruguza won a 19-shot rally, Kenin never gave her the upper hand. Serving to stay in the match, the Spanish followed two aces with few double faults to give the youngster her first Major title on her second championship point.