American seed No.14 Sofia Kenin fended off two set points in both sets to edge top-ranked Ashleigh Barty 7-6(6) 7-5 and reach her first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open.
The first set featured no break points at all and Kenin managed to win it despite having worse winners-to-unforced-errors differential, -4 to Barty’s +1.
The first player to go up a break in the second set was Barty and the Australian held the advantage throughout the set before surrendering it when attempting to serve it out at 5-4 40-15. After leveling, the 21-year-old Kenin confidently held serve and broke Barty in the following game to advance to the title match and ensure a Top 10 ranking debut.
Moscow-born Kenin was a child prodigy in the United States, where she moved as a baby. I’ve recently featured some Sonya’s childhood photos in my Little Tennis Stars series, where you can read more about her tennis beginnings and see her with WTA celebrities such as Kim Clijsters and Anna Kournikova.
Let’s also mention Kenin’s stunning Fila kit from the Colorful Play collection. Do you also find it to be one of the best outfits of the tournament?
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 30, 2020
Barty brought her baby niece Olivia to the post-match press conference! How adorable! At one moment, Barty looked down at her crying niece and said: “I feel ya, sister.” Commenting on her performance during the Australian Swing, the 23-year-old said:
“It’s disappointing, but it’s been a hell of a summer. If you would have told me I would have won Adelaide and made the semifinals, I would have taken that in a heartbeat.”