Ashleigh Barty's win on Thursday resulted in her becoming the first Australian to reach the Australian Open final in 42 years. She will take on American Danielle Collins in the last match of the women's singles tournament.
It has been 44 years though since an Australian has won the home Grand Slam, with Christine O'Neil doing so on grass in Kooyong in 1978. Barty can make history this Saturday, with the Australian stating she is both excited and cognisant of the importance of the match.
Australian Open Women's Singles Final
- World number one Ash Barty will take on twenty-seventh seed Danielle Collins.
- Barty is the first Australian in 42 years to reach the final.
- A win would mark a third Grand Slam for Barty, a first for Collins.
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Barty will meet Danielle Collins in this year's women's singles Grand Slam final with the 28-year old American entering this competition as the twenty-seventh seed. Both women confirmed their ticket for the final on Thursday, with Barty beating Madison Keys and Collins besting Iga Swiatek.
Prior to both women's success this year, the semifinals of the competition was the furthest either woman had progressed at the Australian Open. Barty reached that stage of the competition in 2020 while Collins had done so a year earlier in 2019.
This year's final will not be the two women's first match against each other. It will be their fourth meeting. In those previous encounters, Collins only managed to beat Barty on one occasion.
No. 1 world ranked Barty, for the last 112 weeks running, has proved to be the dominant player of this year's tournament. When she faces Collins again, she will have to best a player who relies on a power game and tenacious energy.
Barty will also have to set aside the pressure of a home Grand Slam final. Speaking ahead of the tournament, the Australian clearly stated she understood the historical importance of the match and 44 year wait.
"I do (know). I can't do any more than I can try. That's all I can do. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.
"I just have to hope that everyone understands that I'm giving it my best crack. It doesn't always work out exactly how you want to.
"But you go about it the right way, you do the right things and try and give yourself the best chance, that's all you can do."
However, despite the pragmatic answers about the possible outcomes of the game, the Australian was also not phased by the pressure. On the contrary, she further stated her excitement of playing a final at home:
"Incredibly excited to be in the finals weekend of your home Grand Slam. It is what a lot of Aussie players dream of.
"It is going to be an incredible experience come Saturday. I cannot wait to come out there and enjoy it."
The match will take place at 7:30 PM AEDT. It can be viewed will be free to air on 9now.
More Australian Open news can be found on their website.