Sofia Kenin with the women's Australian open trophy after defeating Spain's Garbine Muguruza. Photograph:( AFP )
Kenin and Muguruza produced a fitting and intense final under the closed roofs of a packed Rod Laver Arena, at Melbourne Park.
Twenty-one-year-old American tennis player Sofia Kenin defeated Garbine Muguruza to win her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open with a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win.
With this victory, Kenin has become the youngest Australian open women's singles champion since Maria Sharapova in 2008.
The American converted her second match point against the two-times Grand Slam champion, who committed a double-fault on the final point, to end an engrossing contest that lasted more than two hours.
In a hard fought final, Kenin and Muguruza traded shots and rallies under the closed roofs of a packed Rod Laver Arena, at Melbourne Park.
When Muguruza had arrived in Melbourne she was suffering from a virus that forced her to quit the Hobart International, but the Spaniard made a comeback when her health recovered. However, her performance was inconsistent.
Although she got 57 per cent of her first serves in she mixed her nine aces with eight double faults.
Kenin who is currently ranked 14 in the world rankings, came to the match with a game plan, mixing skilful drop shots with her deep forehand groundstrokes to catch Muguruza by surprise initially.
But the Spaniard soon found her range and converted her third breakpoint in the third game to nose ahead in the opening set.
Kenin had beaten Ash Barty in the semi-final by saving four break points to hold the seventh game.
She was rewarded for her perseverance in the final with two consecutive double faults from Muguruza that gave the American a break back and brought the set back on serve.
But the Spaniard won the opening set when her opponent missed the sideline with her forehand.
Kenin's performance in the second set went up a notch to match her competitor.
She took the court in the second set with renewed vigour with increased power behind her shots.
It was her resilience due to which she got the break in the fourth game and then a confident hold gave her a 4-1 lead.
Muguruza made no attempt at a comeback when the American levelled the match with the second break of her serve.
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.
Down 0-40 in the fifth game and with her back to the wall, Kenin probably produced her best tennis. She painted the sidelines with three scorching winners while also producing an ace to hold serve for 3-2.
A fifth double fault from the Spaniard gave Kenin a 4-2 lead, and she was suddenly within striking distance of victory, which she sealed by breaking her opponent again.