It's been a week of firsts for Sofia Kenin. The 21-year-old American secured her first Grand Slam final berth after defeating top-seeded Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals of the Australian Open (her first appearance in those, too). And after dropping the first set of the final to Spanish player Garbiñe Muguruza — herself a two-time Grand Slam champion — Sofia battled back, clinching the victory she's been training for and dreaming of her entire life: her first major title.
Sofia finished the match with a commanding 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 score, but her inspiring comeback wasn't the only memorable storyline to emerge that evening. She became the youngest Australian Open women's singles champion since Maria Sharapova won the tournament in 2008, when she was 20 years old. She's also predicted to rise to No. 7 in next week's WTA rankings, which will make her the youngest American to reach the top 10 since Serena Williams in 1999.
"I cannot even describe this feeling. It's so emotional, and I've worked so hard, and I'm just so grateful to be standing here," Sofia said during the trophy ceremony, thanking the crowd as well as her family — including her father and coach, Alex — for their support. "Dreams come true."
Image Source: Getty / Fred Lee