The women’s Australian Open final takes place in Melbourne on Saturday when Garbine Muguruza and Sofia Kenin step out onto the Rod Laver Arena to compete for the opening Grand Slam title of the year.
Both women will be looking to win this title for the first time in what should be something of an epic final. It is fair to say few would have predicted this to be the last showdown of the tournament when it began but both ladies deserve to be here.
The American youngster Sofia Kenin has surprised all the odds to make it through to her maiden Grand Slam final. To be fair to her, her draw opened up nicely along the way with the likes of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka both knocked out but you still have to take advantage of that and she has done exactly that. She has only dropped one set on her way to the final, which was in a tiebreak to Coco Gauff so she has come through nicely.
The way she held herself together when the going got tough against Ash Barty in the semi-final suggests that she isn’t going to wilt in the limelight of the big stage. She hits the ball clean and hard but can mix it up when the need arises which makes her potentially dangerous. Whether she has the defensive skills if she is pushed onto the back foot remains to be seen but her aggression should serve her well.
The tale was that Garbine Muguruza was fading away in her career coming into this tournament, but if that was the script nobody seemed to send it to the Spaniard as she has turned things around dramatically and goes into the final having played the best tennis of anyone to make it this far. She has hit the ball cleanly and brutally and hasn’t really taken a backward step at any stage in the tournament to date.
The tournament didn’t begin great for Muguruza when she lost her first set of it 6-0 but since then she has only dropped one more set and generally has got better and better with every match she has played. Unlike her opponent in this match, Muguruza has the experience of this huge occasion and that should allow her to settle into her work quicker and in what looks a fairly tight clash that could be the difference.
Head to Head
These two women have played each other just the once in the past which was in Beijing last year, a contest Kenin won in three sets 6-0 2-6 6-2. That suggests that whoever gets on top in the game and enjoys a purple patch will run away with it. It also suggests that we could be in for a three setter but there isn’t a huge amount of form to go on at the present time it has to be said.
I’m with Garbine Muguruza here. I think her big game experience and tougher path to the final are both massive advantages that she can use to bring home her first Australian Open title here. I like Sofia Kenin and have backed her to win Grand Slams in the past so I’m not surprised she is in this final but she might well come up against her match here I have to say. Muguruza has looked the real deal in the last three rounds.
The Spaniard is a little short to back as a single though but I think her sets are likely to be one-sided whereas Kenin might be made to work for a set if indeed she does win one. Muguruza should start the stronger of the two given her Grand Slam final experience and if she gets in front early she might not be for catching. I’ll take Muguruza to win by more than 2.5 games in what should be a great final but one which the Spaniard should show her class in.
Back G.Muguruza (-2.5 games) to beat S.Kenin for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Betway