'I'm on cloud nine': U.S. tennis star Sofia Kenin wins Australian Open

The 14th-seed was competing in her first Grand Slam final.
Image: Tennis - Australian Open - Women's Singles Final
Sofia Kenin of the U.S. celebrates as she kisses the trophy after winning her match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza.KIM HONG-JI / Reuters

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By Yuliya Talmazan and Reuters

U.S. tennis star Sofia Kenin captured her first Grand Slam title after a 4-6 6-2 6-2 comeback against Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza in the Australian Open final Saturday.

Kenin, 21, becomes the youngest Australian Open women’s singles champion since Maria Sharapova in 2008.

Moscow-born Kenin broke down in tears on the court after clinching her victory and went up to her father Alexander, who doubles as her coach.

"I would like to thank the crowd," Kenin said after the match. "These past two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life. I love you guys from the bottom of my heart."

Kenin and Muguruza produced a competitive final under the closed roofs of a packed Rod Laver Arena.

The intensity of the deciding set rose considerably with Muguruza slapping her thigh to egg herself on while Kenin was almost reduced to tears out of frustration at some of her shots.

"It was such a battle and it was very physical," Kenin said, carrying her trophy, after the ceremony.

“I’m on cloud nine right now, I just can’t believe this," she added.

The 14th-seeded Kenin was in a Grand Slam final for the first time. She ended the run of 15-year-old American Cori "Coco" Gauff in the fourth round and advanced to the final by stunning top-ranked Ash Barty.

Muguruza has been in three previous Grand Slam finals, winning two of them at Roland Garros (2016) and Wimbledon (2017), while the American had been beyond the third round only once — beating Serena Williams at last year’s French Open.