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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

‘A Grand Slam champion on three different surfaces, Ash Barty the complete player’

Ash Barty became the first Australian to win the event since Chris O'Neil captured the women's title in 1978.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: January 29, 2022 5:44:26 pm
Ash Barty, Australian OpenAsh Barty of Australia kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after defeating Danielle Collins in the women's singles final at the Australian Open. (AP Photo)

Ash Barty ended Australia’s 44-year wait for a home winner at the Australian Open when the world number one staved off a fightback from American Danielle Collins to complete a 6-3 7-6(2) win on Saturday and pick up her third Grand Slam title.

Barty became the first Australian to win the event since Chris O’Neil captured the women’s title in 1978. O’Neil was present in the stands cheering as the crowd on the flooodlit Rod Laver Arena erupted when Barty converted her first match point with a forehand crosscourt winner. Her historic win was hailed unequivocally and Rod Laver reserved special praise for her.

“A Grand Slam champion on three different surfaces, you are the complete player @AshBarty and I am so happy for you tonight. There’s nothing like winning at home, congratulations #AO2022 champion, it is wonderful to be here for this moment and to celebrate with Australia,” wrote the 11-time singles champion.

“There is just no better tennis player at the moment than @ashbarty. Most complete and focused! The way she is able to put pieces together and add a bit more to her game is absolutely admirable! What an example,” said Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka.

Here are some of the best reactions from across the globe:

Meanwhile, speaking after the match, Barty thanked all those who helped her along the journey to the top and then congratulated her opponent.

“First and foremost I have to say congratulations to Danielle and your team. It has been an amazing fortnight for you and you are in the top 10 and that is absolutely where you belong. Congratulations and I know that you will be fighting for more of these in the future.

“I am a little stumped here. I think I would love to obviously thank Jane [Hrdlicka] and Craig [Tiley] and your team and everyone who does so much work behind the scenes as Jane said, this last couple of years has been really tough for everyone and it takes a real big village to put on an event like this.

“You guys have been outstanding, absolutely incredible. You make the players feel welcome and I think this tournament has been one of my favourite experiences, so thank you so much, both of you, thank you.”

(With Reuters inputs)

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