It might supply some solace to Australian tennis fans that the woman who denied Ash Barty went on to win the title.

American Sofia Kenin did in the Australian Open what Barty did in the 2019 French Open, which was to capture her first major title.

Kenin, just 21, almost squandered her opportunity to put Grand Slam Winner on her resume.

After Kenin and her opponent split the first two sets, Kenin was down to tow-time previous Australian Open champion Garbine Muguruza.

Kenin was down three break points on her serve in the fifth game of the decider, when she had a mental revelation.

“I knew I had to take my chance,” Kenin said, “I had to be brave.”

Kenin reeled off five consecutive points, erasing the breakers and seizing the initiative to go on to win 4 – 6, 6 – 2, 6 – 2.

For the match, Kenin faced 12 break points, saving 10 of those break points. Muguruza offered six break opportunities and Kenin converted five of those.

Muguruza was gassed by the end of the match, to the extent that serving to stay alive, she double-faulted three times in the last game, including the championship point.

Over on the men’s side, Novak Djokovic, aided by a little tennis luck that featured a sedate semi-final win over an obviously ailing Roger Federer, won his eighth Australian Open title. He is to the Australian Open what Rafael Nadal is to the French Open, or at least, so it would seem.

Djokovic beat Dominic Thiem for the title, even though it appeared as though he was depleted, with mistakes aplenty and a growing deficit.

Djokovic won the first set, only to see Thiem take the next two.

The outcome was Djokovic 6 – 4, 4 – 6, 2 – 6, 6 – 3, 6 – 4.

“Definitely my favourite court, my favourite stadium in the world,” Djokovic told the spectators at Rod laver Arena during the trophy presentation.

From 16 semi-final or final matches at Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic has never been beaten. He won the Australian Open last year, making this the first time he has captured consecutive Australian Open titles.

His opponent, Dominic Thiem has played in the final at three major tournaments, so he would seem to be a rising star whose time in just ahead.

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