A fearless Ashleigh Barty on Saturday became the first Australian in 44 years to win her home Grand Slam, stopping fearless American Danielle Collins’ charge in straight sets.
The world number one went down 5-1 in the second set, but made a comeback to win the tiebreaker and beat the 27th seed 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) to be crowned Australian Open champions. took. Expected Rod Laver Arena crowd.
It was the third Slam title for the 25-year-old after his success. French Open success in 2019 and Wimbledon Last year, Serena Williams joined as the only active player to win a Major on all three surfaces.
“It’s a dream come true for me and I’m very proud to be an Australian,” said Barty. “As an Australian, the most important part of this tournament is being able to share it with so many people and you guys in the crowd are not exceptionally embarrassed. You comfort me and make me play my best tennis against champions like Danielle. I knew I absolutely had to bring it up today.
“And congrats Danielle, it’s been an amazing fortnight and you’re back in the top 10 where you are,” she said.
Barty achieved the feat by watching at the stadium with Christine O’Neill, the last Australian man or woman to win in Melbourne.
O’Neill won the title in 1978 and told reporters before the match: “I’m probably his (Barty’s) biggest fan. I’d be happy to hand it to him because he’s so deserving of it. He’s an absolute thinker, She is a craftsman, like a chess player in how she scores.”
There were fears she might be overwhelmed by the weight of expectations, but the Australian has faced intense pressure before, no more than last year’s Wimbledon.
Winning at the All England Club was a trophy she wanted more than any other, and she handled the occasion perfectly.
She applied the same tactical prowess with the resurgent Collins, who has enjoyed a new lease of life after surgery last year for endometriosis, storming for her first two WTA titles left her pain-free.
An emotional Collins said, “Many congratulations to Ash on a formidable tournament, a few years in fact.”
“The way you play and the variety of shots, hopefully I can implement something in my game.”
Barty countered the 28-year-old’s power-hitting and served big with his dizzying array of slices, pinpoint serves, pace and an effortless forehand, but he had a bigger scare.
Both players played their opening service games comfortably, giving them a few opportunities to feel for each other.
But Collins was using his heavy groundstrokes and they were causing trouble.
He worked his first deuce with Barty serving 2-2 and a wayward forehand gave him the opening break point of the night.
The Australian, however, persevered and served with an ace.
He then raised a gear and pressed on Collins’ serve to earn his first break point with a net volley, and the American Double Fault under pressure to go back 4-2.
With the crowd roaring at him, Barty rode home 6-3 in 32 minutes.
But Collins was not and came back breaking Barty 2–0 in the second set – a fate the Australian suffered just before the tournament.
Collins missed two break points to keep the serve. And when Barty made a statement by winning his next service game for Love, the American was enthralled and broke 5-1 again as the top seed sent two double faults.
Barty was in deep trouble but incredibly found a way back, breaking for 2-5 with some crisp winners then breaking for 4-5 as Collins was serving for the set.
She forced a tiebreak and was always in charge with Collins securing her fourth win in five matches and making history for Australia.