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Comeback Gives Sofia Kenin First Major Title

American defeats Garbine Muguruza after losing the first set
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2020 9:30 AM CST
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Sofia Kenin of the U.S. makes a backhand return to Spain's Garbine Muguruza during the women's final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne.   (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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(Newser) – Sofia Kenin, a 21-year-old American, dropped the first set Saturday, then stormed back by winning a pair of 6-2 sets for the Australian Open title. She defeated Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain. This is her first Grand Slam victory, the Wall Street Journal reports. She'd beaten Coco Gauff and top-ranked Ash Barty to reach the final. "My dream officially came true,” Kenin said on the court afterward. Kenin, who was born in Moscow, broke down in tears and went to her father, who coaches her, when the match ended. She had been close to tears of frustration during the intense third set, per NBC. "It was such a battle, and it was very physical," Kenin said.

Kenin can't match the serve or power of some of her rivals, the Journal points out, but she moves well and is determined. She beat Barty in straight sets after fighting off two set points. The victory Saturday changed Kenin's life in several ways, per the Guardian: She moved past Serena Williams to be the No. 1 US player; she nearly doubled her career prize money; she had to give one of her first speeches ever, and she's now the player others want to beat. Kenin will be ranked 7th in the world now. With Williams no longer dominant, women's tennis is wide open. In the past three years, four women have won each of the four majors. (Read more Australian Open stories.)

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