Sofia Kenin has come from one-set down to claim her first major at the 2020 Australian Open.
The fourteenth seed defeated Garbine Muguruza, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a pulsating match that both women appeared to have on their racquet.
The 21-year-old even fought off tears in the third set as the enormity of the situation got the better of her.
But just like she has done all tournament, Kenin steadied to become the last woman standing at Melbourne Park.
Muguruza sought assistance from a trainer in between the second and third sets, as fatigue appeared to set in.
But in the end, it was her serving – her key strength in the first set – that let her down, as double faults multiplied at crucial junctures in the match, including on match point.
Kenin became the youngest player to lift the trophy in 12 years, after a quality match that lasts for two hours three minutes.
At 21 years and 80 days, Kenin is 22 days younger than Japan’s Naomi Osaka when she won the title last year. She is the youngest champion since 20-year-old Maria Sharapova won in 2008.
Kenin told the adoring Rod Laver Arena crowd the last two weeks in Australia had been “the best” of her life.
“I just want to say, you know, my dream has officially come true,” Kenin said.
“I cannot even describe this feeling. It is so emotional and I have worked so hard.
“I am just so grateful to be standing here.
“Dreams come true, so if you have a dream oh for it and it will come true.”
While it was Muguruza’s nerves that worsened as the match wore on, Kenin, too, had to deal with her own on-court demons.
Teens legend Jim Courier told Channel 9 the young Amerian was fighting back tears mid-way through the third set.
“Kenin is fighting off tears right now,” Courier said.
“Seriously. She is fighting on two fronts right now.
“Not just Mugaruza. She’s fighting herself. I’m not sure what’s triggered it.”
That Kenin could steel herself amid such emotional tumult spoke volumes to her maturity.
Earlier, Muguruza took the first set, 4-6, with her serving separating her from Kenin.
But in what has become trademark Kenin fashion, she broke Muguruza twice en route to claiming the second set, 6-2 to force the deciding set.