Sofia Kenin’s win shows how open women's game is
The last five women's Grand Slams have now been won by five different players. Good luck trying to predict who triumphs at the French Open.
Sofia Kenin's 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Garbine Muguruza in Saturday's final at the Australian Open underlined just how open the women's game is.
The young American was seeded 14th in Melbourne and her previous best performance at a Slam was reaching the Round of 16 at last year's Roland Garros.
But the fiery 21-year-old upset world No. 1 and home hope Ashleigh Barty in the semi-finals and then defeated two-time Slam champion Muguruza.
A Kenin-Muguruza final was 750-1 with British bookmakers before the tournament.
Kenin's victory was the last episode in a wildly unpredictable draw in which six of the top-10 women's seeds, including Serena Williams and holder Naomi Osaka, went out in round three.
Moscow-born Kenin will jump to world No. 7 and above Williams as the top-ranked American this week.
But she was reticent when asked if she will follow in the footsteps of the 38-year-old Williams and win multiple Major titles.
"I would love to, that would be amazing," said Kenin, glass of champagne in hand after Saturday's triumph.
"Right now, I still can't believe what just happened. I need to somehow come down and just let it all sink in. Hopefully I can just keep going, build up on everything that I've done these past two weeks, just move forward."
There is a marked contrast between men's and women's tennis.
Last year's Grand Slam titles in the women's game were won by Osaka (Australian Open), Barty (French Open), Simona Halep (Wimbledon) and Bianca Andreescu (US Open).
In the men's game, the Majors have been won by just three men - Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - in the last three years.
Djokovic, who retained the Australian Open title last night, also won Wimbledon last year, while Rafael Nadal clinched the French and US Opens.
Nadal, 33, will once more be hot favourite at the French Open in the summer, having won the crown there a remarkable 12 times. - AFP