HOBART, Australia - Two weeks, two trophies: American Sofia Kenin finished off a fortnight of perfect preparation for the Australian Open on Saturday.
The 20-year-old rolled to her first-ever WTA singles title at the Hobart International against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, 6-3, 6-0, for her second tour-level crown in as many weeks to begin 2019.
Kenin partnered Eugenie Bouchard to win her first WTA doubles title at the ASB Classic in the season's opening week in Auckland, and needed just one hour and 11 minutes to add a first career singles title to her mantle in her tournament debut.
From 3-3 in the opening set, the American won the last nine games of the match to become the first American champion in Tasmania since Amy Frazier in 2004.
"I'm so happy to have gotten this title," Kenin said after the match.
"It was my first year [here] and I'm looking forward to coming back here for many more years to come."
— WTA (@WTA) January 12, 2019
Looking to win her fourth career WTA singles title, Schmiedlova was the stronger of the two to start the match: the 24-year-old dropped just one point in her first two service games, and earned three break points in the fourth game of the match.
Nonetheless, Kenin showed some of the mettle that's been her trademark to start her career, holding serve after five deuces.
The near-miss proved a key moment for the Slovak in the match, as she immediately surrendered serve to love in the next game.
Despite rallying to get back on serve, in another marathon game which saw Kenin save five break points before losing the sixth, that proved to be the last game the World No.77 would win in the match.
"I didn’t want to overthink it and I’m happy with the way I composed myself during the match," added Kenin.
"It might have looked easy, but every game was close and I knew I had to play well."
Kenin served at 86 percent for the contest, saving eight of the nine break points she faced, to earn her second win in as many matches against Schmiedlova overall.
Schmiedlova's road to the championship match proved more complicated than Kenin's, as she won a pair of marathon three-setters against Evgeniya Rodina and Belinda Bencic to reach her fifth career final.
"It was really unexpected, and I’m extremely happy that I could be in the final," Schmiedlova said in defeat. "While today didn't go as I hoped it would go, Sofia played really well.
"I had a few chances especially in the beginning of the first set, but she played better today and I hope to play many more finals with her."
Unseeded this week in Tasmania, Kenin beat three seeded players en route to the title, which included a victory over No.1 seed Caroline Garcia in the first round, and did not drop a set.
The 20-year-old will make her Top 40 debut in Monday's rankings ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season, rising from World No.56 to World No.37.
"I feel in great form and I’m really proud of myself," the American said. "I’m so happy with my start and will try to keep the momentum going."