This isn’t the final Australia wanted but it’s the final on tap. Sofia Kenin kept her nerve in a plucky display in winning two tight sets over Barty, this will be the American’s first Grand Slam final, she’s done well considering the 21 year old had never been beyond a 4thround at any Slam.
Garbine Muguruza has come in from the Grand Slam wilderness; it’s been six Slams since the Spaniard has advanced beyond a 4thround and three years since she won Wimbledon. This will be a big chance to add to her Grand Slam total, up against an opponent playing her first Slam final.
Why Kenin will win
She leads the head to head 1-0, winning a three setter just a few months ago in Beijing so the belief will be there, match that with her plucky play she showed in coming from behind multiple times in the Barty semi.
She never gives up, will run everything down and fight to the death. She’s the Amanda Coetzer of 2020, if she can hang around long enough and frustrate Mugu she’ll win this.
Why Muguruza will win
This match will be similar to Muguruza’s semi against Halep in that Mugu will try to kill the point quickly, the shorter the rally the better, the stats will show the longer the rally goes the worse it is for the Spainard, which means raw power is the key, which is something Mugu has plenty of, if she keeps the unforced errors low and gets a few free points on serve there will be nothing Kenin can do.
You never know how players will react in the moment regarding the pressure of playing in a Grand Slam final, it’s a different beast than normal tour matches.
Kenin may relish it or freeze up, it may take her half a set to calm down, if that happens and Muguruza wins the first set easily a blowout could be on the cards.
If Kenin is focused and not overawed she could sink her teeth into the match and make it a grind. In most of Muguruza’s matches she is the aggressor but she showed good retrieving skills against Halep, but in this match up she’ll make Kenin do most of the running.
Since Muguruza’s Wimbledon triumph her game has been very streaky but when she’s locked in there aren’t many that can hang with her, as evidenced by winning two Slams already. Right now she is locked in and I see her winning this match and lifting a third Grand Slam trophy.