Sofia Kenin defeated Garbine Muguruza in three sets to earn her first career Grand Slam title by winning the Australian Open on Saturday.
The 21-year-old American came back after dropping the first set to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Kenin Silences the Doubters at Australian Open
Kenin found herself in danger early in the third set. After both women held twice, Muguruza had three break points against Kenin at 2-2, giving her the chance to take control of the match.
Kenin responded by winning the next five points, then went on to win the final three games of the set to claim her first major title. The victory validated Kenin as an elite women’s tennis player, something she found it hard to convince the world she could be.
“Some people didn’t really believe in me,” Kenin said after her win. “They turned me down and said I wouldn’t make it or I was too small. We never took that seriously. I had a goal, I had a dream and we achieved it.”
The win moved Kenin up to the No. 7 ranking in the world. Still, bookmakers aren’t showing a lot of confidence in the youngster to continue winning Grand Slams, at least not in 2020.
FanDuel Sportsbook lists Kenin as a +3200 longshot at the French Open, while giving her better odds at Wimbledon (+1800). Kenin stands as a +1800 pick for the US Open as well, fan behind favorites like Serena Williams (+650) and defending champion Bianca Andreescu (+750).
Djokovic Holds Off Thiem in Five-Set Classic
Novak Djokovic fought back to win the final two sets and earn his eighth Australian Open title on Sunday, defeating Dominic Thiem to claim his 17th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic rallied to claim a five-set victory, beating Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win his second consecutive Australian Open title.
Thiem came tantalizingly close to grabbing a major from the big three of Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal, who have continued to dominate the tennis world even in their thirties. After the match, both men agreed that the time for change in men’s tennis was coming soon, even if it hadn’t arrived this weekend.
“It wasn’t meant to be tonight,” Djokovic said to Thiem after the match. “You were very close to winning it and you definitely have a lot more time in your career. I am sure you will definitely get one of the Grand Slam trophies. More than one.”
Thiem said he was happy with how he had played, even if he couldn’t walk away with the trophy.
“I think there’s not much to change,” Thiem said afterwards. “In the last two sets, I definitely gave everything I had. Novak is part of three guys who are by far the best players ever who played tennis. If you play a Grand Slam final against him, it’s always going to be a match where very small details are deciding.”
Bookmakers believe Djokovic is likely to pick up more titles this year – but that Thiem is also in contention. That’s especially true at the French Open, where Djokovic (+300) and Thiem (+320) are considered the two biggest threats to Rafael Nadal (-125). Djokovic (+150) will enter Wimbledon as a favorite over Federer (+350) and Nadal (+500), and is also the +145 first choice to win the US Open.