“I felt that in the third set, I felt like I was getting closer to the title, something that I really want”
Sofia Kenin shed a few tears and needed to find a way to keep her emotions in check during an epic final against Garbine Muguruza, but soon after lifting her first Grand Slam title the American had to rush to calm someone else down – her mother.
Kenin counter-punched her way back from a set down against Muguruza to win her first major at the Australian Open with a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win on Saturday. The 21-year-old was almost reduced to tears in the third set and even threw her racquet away in frustration at some of her shots.
“I felt that in the third set, I felt like I was getting closer to the title, something that I really want,” she said. “I knew I needed to somehow try and relax, just try to calm down.”
Eventually she found a way to do that, as twice Grand Slam champion Muguruza wilted in the latter stages.
But Kenin still had one more worry: her mother, who gets so nervous she finds it hard to watch her daughter play.
“I called her right after the match just to tell her that everything’s fine, I won, she can just relax now,” she said, before bursting into laughter.
“She’s been really stressed at home, very superstitious. She’s just really happy. I told her I’m not going to be able to talk to you for hours, but at least you know that I won. I’m coming home, you can give me the biggest hug of your life.”