World number one in women’s top-flight tennis, Ashleigh Barty Saturday defeated Danielle Collins to win the Women’s Australian Open title, ending Australia’s 44-year wait for a Grand Slam women’s singles champion.
Home girl, Barty fought back from 5-1 down in the second set to win 6-3 7-6 (7-2) on a jubilant Rod Laver Arena.
The 25-year-old attained the feat without dropping a set in Melbourne.
Barty won her first Grand Slam title on clay at Roland Garros in 2019 and followed it up on grass at Wimbledon last year; Now she has become the first Australian woman since Chris O’Neil in 1978 to have won the singles title in Australia.
She also becomes the only active player other than Serena Williams to have won major titles on three different surfaces.
With a partisan 12,000 crowd and nation watching on, Barty started and ended the final looking unburdened by the weight of expectation.
Among those watching was Chris O’Neil, the last Australian to win the men’s or women’s singles title in Melbourne.
Barty now just needs the US Open to complete a career Grand Slam having won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon last summer.
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