Sofia Kenin has won her maiden Grand Slam title. Picture: AAP Image
Sofia Kenin has won her maiden Grand Slam title. Picture: AAP Image

Why Kenin’s mum couldn’t watch final

American star Sofia Kenin is "on cloud nine" - and don't expect her to be coming down any time soon.

The 21-year-old said to share the elation with her father Alexander had been an added bonus for the "tough cookie" who is now enjoying the greatest success of her young life.

She credited her mental fortitude for helping her on her way to the three-set victory over Garbine Muguruza, and said that the game that swung the match in her favour - when she was 0-40 down at 2-2 in the final set and fought tooth and nail to land three epic winners and an ace to wrest back momentum - will stay with her for the rest of her life.

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Sofia Kenin with her father and coach Alexander. Picture: AAP Image
Sofia Kenin with her father and coach Alexander. Picture: AAP Image

"I had to play my best tennis," she said.

"I did, and after that I was on fire.

"I knew I had to take my chances and I had to be brave. (I was) playing a two-time grand slam champion, and all respect to her, she played a tough match and every point was such a battle. A lot of moving, a lot of emotions on court from both sides.

"I knew I had to come up with the best shot, and five best shots of my life - let's go … that game is going to be with me forever."

Kenin will be boosted to world No. 7 after the victory and is now America's top-ranked player.

Alexander has coached Kenin since her emergence as a small child, and she credited her mental toughness not only for getting her through the last two weeks, but many years on her journey to the top.

"Obviously not many people can do that," she said.

"I feel like mental toughness has been a huge part. I've worked on that over the course of the years. It's just paying off.

"Thank you to my dad putting up with me. I can be stubborn, but I love you still."

She said she had spoken to her mother Svetlana, who was in the United States with Kenin's grandmother, sister "and the dogs" but had not watched.

"She's been really stressed at home, very superstitious," she said.

"I told her 'I'm not going to be able to talk to you for hours, but at least you know that I won. I'm coming home, you can give me the biggest hug of your life'.

"She knows the results - she still won't watch … she doesn't like watching."

MUGURUZA'S HONEST REVIEW

Richard Evans

Garbine Muguruza was upfront about what she said was a below par showing in her first ever Australian Open final.

"I am not very happy with my performance. I had to play better because she came up with a great level. In the important moments I didn't find my shots," said the 26-year-old dual major champion who came into this tournament unseeded after a couple of disappointing years.

"I did feel a little bit lack of energy after so many matches. Physically it was a tough battle. Right now it's tough to be happy although it has been an incredible tournament. You lose a final, but you got to make it to the final to be able to win or lose."

Muguruza - who was composed and forthcoming in her media room interview 40 minutes after the match ended - said being asked to make a speech on Rod Laver Arena just minutes after losing was not easy.

 

Garbine Muguruza of Spain speaks during her post match press conference on day thirteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)
Garbine Muguruza of Spain speaks during her post match press conference on day thirteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

 

"I try to have a good perspective and not be too dramatic. I gave myself a chance to be in a final. You realize that and you calm down a little bit."

The boundless energy, movement and mannerism on display from Sofia Kenin were not a factor at all in Muguruza's drop in the standard of play she has exhibited all tournament she said.

"I didn't really look too much today (at) my opponent. She's energetic, I think I had enough with my side. It's her first grand slam final and she performed really well."

Nerves and the physical effects of seven matches in 13 days had played its part said the Spaniard who will move up to the No.16 ranking on Monday.

"I was feeling my body a little bit. But it's normal after so many matches, tough matches. Also this match was a lot of rallies, a lot of running. Like every player, you're nervous because it's a very important match. I felt pretty good before the match, excited to really go out there."

Dwelling on the past serves no purpose she said.

"I don't think at all about the previous years, even the good ones or the bad ones. I feel like, What for? I got the best out of it, good or bad. I just started a new year. I have a new team. That's it."



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