Sofia Kenin: 2020 Australian Open Champion Feb 1, 2020 18:01:49 GMT
Post by Admin on Feb 1, 2020 18:01:49 GMT
There were brief moments early in her 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win at Rod Laver Arena – witnessed by, among many celebrities, the man himself and Margaret Court, the finest Australian player in the history of the game – when Kenin looked as if she might find the occasion too much for her.
Those who know her well talk of a quiet, shy player but on court she has the stamp of a champion, sure of her ability and able to fight her way out of tight corners, which she has had to do several times in the final stages of the tournament, as the matches became tougher.
“This is my first speech, but I’m going to try my best,” she said before going into a blizzard of thank yous that took in everyone from her opponent, the crowd, her team and her parents. “My dream officially came true. I am so emotional. I have worked so hard. These have been the best two weeks of my life.”
Smiling and nursing a glass of champagne more than an hour later, Kenin was a picture of youthful joy and contentment, paying tribute to her Russian roots. “I definitely think [that] helped me,” she said. “I’ve looked up to Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova. I followed their matches when I was little. I feel like I got the feisty thing. I saw what it’s like. She won a grand slam at 17, Maria, which I remember watching it on TV. I have part of Russian stuff inside me, the fight and fierceness that I have. Trying just to be confident, do what I do best. And thank you to my parents for giving me the American dream.”
She added: “I’m so proud of myself, my dad, my team, everyone that has been around me. We’ve worked all hard. We’ve been through tough times. We did it. We fought. I’m on cloud nine.”