MELBOURNE, Australia - American tennis fans woke up to a new Grand Slam champion crowned at the Australian Open after Sofia Kenin’s comeback victory in the final.
Up against two-time Grand Slam winner and former World No.1 Garbine Muguruza, Kenin held her nerve despite dropping a tight opening set. The 21-year-old came back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 and claim her maiden major title.
She’s now broken into the WTA’s Top 10 and has risen to the highest ranking of her career at No.7 in the world - making her the new American No.1.
After the final - and all of the media whirlwind that followed - Kenin took a moment to reflect on a dream fortnight in Melbourne.
I’m living a dream! So happy to lift this beautiful trophy 🏆 All of the years of hard work and dedication have brought me here! It feels so special, so happy to share this all with you! These 2 weeks have been amazing 😉 Thank you for your support ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ox08DCaJsm— Sofia Kenin (@SofiaKenin) February 1, 2020
But she still had time to send a message to WTA fans on Twitter:
Elsewhere on Twitter, the praise was pouring in for the young American. Hall of Famers Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters, who famously gave a young Kenin a behind-the-scenes tour of the Miami Open, were some of the first to pass along their congratulations.
congrats @SofiaKenin on your first grand slam title 🏆 - you’ve shown what’s possible with focus, hard work and determination! 💪❤️— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) February 1, 2020
“Thank you for tweeting at me,” Kenin said in her post-match press conference. “I mean, I haven't checked anything on social media. It's just blowing up. Two weeks I can't even check normal.
“I've seen a few tweets, Bianca tweeted, Billie Jean King tweeted. It's just all exciting.”
The new American No.1, Kenin was hailed by her American peers - from WTA founder and Legend Billie Jean King to fellow Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens.
Congrats @SofiaKenin !! 🏆 enjoy it girl - so happy for you 🥰— Sloane Stephens (@SloaneStephens) February 1, 2020
Congrats! Way to go after it @SofiaKenin in your first Major final. Incredible focus, hunger & belief (& dropshots) on full display. 🇺🇸🏆— Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) February 1, 2020
All of the tennis community took to social media to share their congratulations to the new Australian Open champion Kenin and her dad-slash-coach Alexander - check out the best posts here!
Huge congratulations to @SofiaKenin and her dad for this amazing achievement 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) February 1, 2020
Kenins dad videoing her speech is absolutely adorable Dadness. Does he realise this is being broadcast worldwide? 🤣— Liam Broady (@Liambroady) February 1, 2020
@SofiaKenin is & has always been the real deal. I’ve said it from the get go, she’s not afraid of anything or anyone. She’s special. She’s not flashy, just a work horse & a true competitor that does what she needs 2, 2 win! hates losing more then winning & tonight she showed it— Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) February 1, 2020
Well done @SofiaKenin— Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) February 1, 2020
Inspiring story! To move to the states so young with not much to your name...other than an unmatched desire to succeed!
And in her own way, she gave us a glimpse of what she's been through, what she's truly made of in every step she took out there today!