Photo credit: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
The first Grand Slam of the season has come to an end and there is a fresh face in the Winner’s Circle. Over the weekend, 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin captured her first major title at the Australian Open, defeating Garbine Muguruza of Spain 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the final.
As if reaching the final wasn’t impressive enough, she had to knock-out some big names in order to get there. The 14th seed’s first test came when she faced fellow American, Coco Gauff. At only 15 years old, Gauff was the one of the main storylines of the tournament, having ousted Venus Williams and defending champion Naomi Osaka in the previous rounds. Kenin then went on to defeat none other than World No. 1 and hometown favourite Ashleigh Barty in the quarters. With her win, Kenin became the youngest Australian Open Champion since Maria Sharapova in 2008.
The lone Canadian on the women’s side was 17-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez who dominated her three qualifying matches to reach her maiden professional Grand Slam main draw. Despite a 6-4, 6-2 loss in the opening round at the hands of American Lauren Davis, Fernandez walked away with a lot of important experience. In doubles, Gabriela Dabrowski had another stellar tournament, reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals in doubles and mixed doubles, respectively.