MELBOURNE - World number 15 Sofia Kenin on Thursday upset top seed Ash Barty 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 on her own home soil in extremely hot conditions to reach her first career slam final at the Australian Open.
In the opener, the 23-year-old Australian wasted three shots at a break on 3-2, putting two slice backhands in the net and a forehand return long.
Barty did not get another chance to take the lead, and offered Kenin no looks at all. In the tiebreak she wasted a 4-2 lead and then two set point chances, with the American converting her lone shot at a lead to take the first set in just under an hour.
After 69 minutes of play Barty pocketed the first break of the match and consolidated it on her serve for a 3-1 lead. The world number one had two set points on 5-4, but Kenin voided one with a winner and Barty hit a forehand long to waste the second.
The American then failed to convert her first break point of the match, but not the second, bringing things back to 5-5. After a strong hold by the American, Barty made two unforced errors - including her first double fault of the match - to hand Kenin two match points.