Ash Barty wins Australian Open
World No. 1 ends Australia's 44-year wait for a home champion
MELBOURNE: World No.1 Ash Barty scripts second set comeback to end Australia's 44-year wait for a home-grown champion after defeating American Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6(5) in the Australian Open finals on Saturday.
Barty became the first Australian to win the tournament since Chris O'Neil did it in 1978.
O'Neil stood in the grandstand, cheering as Barty converted her first match point with a forehand crosscourt winner, rousing the audience on the floodlit Rod Laver Arena.
Collins was the first to set up a break point in the match, but a cool and patient Barty found the range with her serve to get out of trouble. When her opponent served a double fault in the next game, she broke.
Win a Grand Slam on home soil? Completed it mate ????????????@ashbarty defeats Danielle Collins 6-3 7-6(2) to become the #AO2022 women’s singles champion.
????: @wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/TwXQ9GACBS
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2022
Some uncharacteristic forehand errors from Barty allowed Collins, who will make her top-10 debut when the rankings are updated on Monday, to break early in the second set, and the American let out a yell of "Come On!" to celebrate taking a 3-0 lead.
The American broke Barty's delivery, which had seemed nearly impregnable over the preceding two weeks, for the second time in the set. But, when Collins appeared to be on the verge of tying the match as she served at 5-1, the Australian displayed steely nerves and upped her game.
Barty regained the set on serve and then controlled the tiebreak to clinch a stunning comeback that had Australians ecstatic all around the country.
Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency