(She did it! Ashleigh Barty finally won “her” Australian Open on Saturday, beating American Danielle Collins to become the queen in her own country, she who had reigned supreme in the tennis world since 2019.
Posted at 7.05 a.m.
Updated at 10.39 a.m.
“It’s a dream come true, I’m so proud to be Australian,” said the 25-year-old as she lifted the trophy from her idol Evonne Goolagong.
“As an Australian, the most important thing about this tournament is being able to share it with so many people and you, the crowd, have been just outstanding,” added the world No. 1, after beating Collins (30e) 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).
This match was the toughest for Barty, who had swallowed the previous rounds by outplaying his opponent.
A break point saved in the first set, then one – the only one played – clinched and there she was leading a set to nil after 32 minutes. The determined ‘Danimal’ Collins looked set to eat the same Aussie gravy as the others.
Except that, true to form, the American didn’t give up.
And taking advantage of a slight drop in Barty’s level – a few more unforced errors, double faults – she took the set twice in the second set. In six matches to that point, the Aussie had only given up her service game once, to Amanda Anisimova in 8en of the final.
Would the pressure of the long-awaited victory break Barty? The Australian came back from 5-5 down and the two players went to a tie-break.
“I just tried to be more aggressive. From 5-1, I tried to get back on top and take control of the court,” said Barty, who did not lose a set in the tournament.
She clearly dominated the tiebreak, cheered on by the Rod Laver Court crowd, and in doing so won her third major title after the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021.
He had been waiting for this title at his home Major since his debut on the circuit in 2014. The Australian people had been dreaming about it for 44 years and Chris O’Neil’s title in 1978.
“Getting my hands on the trophy.
“It’s unbelievable. So many times we’ve been close, but to get my hands on this beautiful trophy after an amazing tournament is just incredible,” said the Australian, who often uses “we” instead of “I” to encompass her entire team, starting with her coach Craig Tyzzer, nicknamed “Tyzz.”
Participated in his 9en Australian Open, where he had reached the semifinals in 2020 and the quarterfinals in 2021.
“For me, what’s important is not so much the trophies as the memories, the memories you make on the way” to the trophies, he insisted.
In her triumphant run, she defeated four Americans in a row: Amanda Anisimova in 8eJessica Pegula in the quarterfinals, Madison Keys in the semifinals and Collins in the final.
She had dominated the same at the French Open in 2019: Pegula at 1.er turn, Collins on the 2ndeKeys in the fourth and Anisimova in the middle.
“My sincere congratulations to Ash on a great tournament and a great season,” said Collins, who is recovering from endometriosis surgery last year. She will make her debut in the Top 10 world on Monday.
“The way he plays and the variety of his strokes…I hope to add some of that to my own game,” added the American, who relies on aggressiveness and ball speed.
Barty also became the only active player, along with Serena Williams, to win Majors on all surfaces (hard, grass and clay).
The men’s final between Russian Daniil Medvedev (2.e) and Spain’s Rafael Nadal (5e) is scheduled for Sunday evening, no earlier than 19:30 local time.