It was a historic night in Melbourne as Ashleigh Barty won the Australian Open women's singles in front of a home crowd.
1978. That was the last time an Australian won a singles Grand Slam on home soil. Christine O'Neil was the victorious Aussie, besting American Betsy Nagel in two sets. Ash Barty made history in 2022, by repeating O'Neil's success 44 years later.
Australian Open Victory
- Ash Barty won the 2022 Australian Open by defeating American Danielle Collins.
- She became the first Australian in 44 years to win a singles Grand Slam on home soil.
- Her Australian compatriots Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis were also victorious winning the Open's men's doubles.
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O'Neil was present in the stands, watching the new to-be victorious Australian likewise take on an American, the big hitting Danielle Collins. The twenty-seventh seed had faced Barty on four different occasions, managing one victory against the world number one.
The Grand Slam did seem like Barty's to lose. The Australian was the dominant player of the tournament, conceding just twenty-one games during the past six matches. She entered the competition having won eleven of her past thirteen finals.
Barty started the final strong, winning the first set by a scoreline of 6-3. Local fans became nervous in the second set, when the 25-year-old fell behind by a score of 5-1. However, she decided that the match would not be extended into a third set. As Collins set up a break point, Barty remained calm and collected.
She fought back from the deficit and managed to pull off a 7-6(2) second set, ensuring her Australian Open victory. The Rod Laver Arena erupted in cheers when Barty's winning point was scored, ending the 44 year wait for a new home champion.
Speaking post match, Barty did not hold back her delight:
"“Yeah, it was a little bit surreal,” said the new Grand Slam champion.
“I didn’t quite know what to do or what to feel, and I think just being able to let out a little bit of emotion, which is a little bit unusual for me, and being able to celebrate with everyone who was there in the crowd, the energy was incredible tonight.
The Australian also took a moment centre court to send out a loving message to her family:
"I am so lucky tonight to have so many people here that love me, support me.. Pretty bloody special that mum, dad and my sisters are here.
"I am pretty rapt with that, that they can come down today. I am an incredibly fortunate and lucky girl to have so much love in my corner and you know, we started right together, right from the start.
"We did it all together. No one's changed from our team. It's been incredible. I love you guys to death, you are the absolute best in the business and I can't thank you for all the time and love you put into me."
The Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup was presented to her by her idol and mentor, fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley. When she was announced, a tearful Barty simply stated:
“This is just a dream come true for me. I’m just so proud to be an Aussie.”
The Australian Open was Barty's third Grand Slam win. She won the French Roland Garros in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021. With this win she joins Serena Williams as one of only two active players to have won a Grand Slam title on three different surfaces.
The only Grand Slam singles win which that eludes the 112-week-running world number one is the US Open. It was also Barty's fifteenth career title.
Men's Doubles Win
Australian tennis fans had a double local victory on Saturday. Alongside Barty's women's singles win, Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios won the Australian Open's men's doubles title.
The "Special Ks" duo beat Max Purcell and Matthew been at the Rod Laver Arena, taking 1hr 35 mins to pull off a 7-6, 6-4 victory. It was the first victory by a home pairing since Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge, known as the Woodies, in 1997.
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