In winning the Australian Open she also became the highest ranked American player and overtook her idol Serena Williams.
“It’s exciting. I’m so happy. I was told, yeah, if I would win, I’d be No. 7. It’s such an honour. I love representing the US. I just love it.
“Everything is coming into place, a dream come true. Everything I’ve done, all the hard work I’ve been doing is paying off.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. Everything is just still a blur for me. I just can’t believe what happened. Yeah, it’s just great. I feel like I’m doing some great things for American tennis.
“I’ve watched Serena. I’ve been following her, all the slams she’s been winning. It’s a special feeling just to be ahead of her. I’m just super excited. I can’t wait to compete, be on the same team with her in Fed Cup.”
Kenin has been coached all her life by her dad. Her mum had stayed home in Florida, superstitious that she might jinx her daughter by changing routine and being there. She was also too emotional to watch.
“I called her right after the match just to tell her that everything’s fine, I won and she can just relax now.
“She’s been really stressed at home, very superstitious. Yeah, she’s just really happy. I told her I’m not going to be able to talk to you for hours, but at least you know that I won. I’m coming home, you can give me the biggest hug of your life.”
Kenin won the match after being down 0-40 in the third set and facing a critical break of serve. She not only held from that position but she went on to break Garbine Murguruza in the next game and carry on to win the match.
“That’s the game I feel like changed things. I had to play some best tennis. I did. After that, I was on fire. I was ready to take the beautiful trophy,” she said.
“I knew I had to take my chance. I had to be brave by playing a two-time grand slam champion. All respect to her. She played a really tough match. Every point, it was such a battle. A lot of moving. A lot of emotions on court from both sides.
“I knew I needed to come up with the best shot, five best shots of my life. I mean, let’s go. It got me to win a grand slam.”
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.