Ashleigh Barty defeated Danielle Collins in the AustralianOpen women’s singles final Saturday in Melbourne to become the first Australian to win the tournament since 1978.
“This is just a dream come true for me and I’m so proud to be an Aussie,” Barty said. “As an Aussie, the most important part of this tournament is being able to share it with so many people. You guys today in the crowd have been nothing shy of exceptional. This crowd is one of the most fun I’ve ever played in front of and you guys brought me so much joy out here today.”
Barty just needed 32 minutes to win the first set over Collings. The second set proved to be much more competitive. She came from 1-5 down, using the forehand as a formidable weapon.
She didn’t surrender a single set, winning 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).
“I really admire you [Barty] as the player that you are,” Collins said.
Collins even being at this stage of the tournament is a story in itself. In April of 2021, she went through a surgery for endometriosis in addition to also suffering an abdominal injury at the French Open. Now, being in the finals at the Australian Open, all but guarantees her a top-10 world ranking and the highest-ranked American.
Australia’s last home win came back in 1978 from Chris O’Neill.
“I’m a fortunate and lucky girl to have so much love in my corner, we started together right from the start,” Barty added. “We did it all together, nobody has changed from our team. I love you to death.”
Barty defeated Amanda Anismova, Danielle Collins, Madison Keys, and Jessica Pegula to win the 2019 French Open. Barty faced the same set of opponents on her way to the 2022 Australian Open title.
“Pretty bloody special that my mum, dad and my sisters are here,” Barty said after the match at Rod Laver Arena. “Pretty rapt that they could come down here today. I’m an incredibly lucky girl to have so much love in my corner.”
This was Barty’s 15th career title overall. She has now won 12 of her last 14 finals, 10 of those 12 wins coming in straight sets.
It took 44 years, but Australia has its own grand slam singles champ again.