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.
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. 🚀
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) January 29, 2022
“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.
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!
Congrats champ to you and all your team ❤️
— victoria azarenka (@vika7) January 29, 2022
Here are some of the best reactions from across the globe:
World No. 1 Ash Barty has just become the 1st Australian to win an #AusOpen singles title since Chris O’Neil’s win in 1978.
What a special day for Australia! 🇦🇺
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 29, 2022
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) January 29, 2022
Congrats @ashbarty so happy for you champ 🏆 ❤️ This one is very special and you really deserve it 👏👏👏👏
— Ons Jabeur (@Ons_Jabeur) January 29, 2022
— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) January 29, 2022
Yes!!!!!What an achievement. First Australian #AusOpen champ in 44 years. A hero to all Queenslanders, and a generation of aspiring young tennis players. Ash Barty, we are all so proud of you. #BartyParty
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) January 29, 2022
— AFL (@AFL) January 29, 2022
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2022
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) January 29, 2022
— Vib (@vibhorpande) January 23, 2022
Introducing the only women in the Open Era to win their first three Grand Slam singles titles in Paris, London and Melbourne:
🇦🇺 Evonne Goolagong Cawley
🏆 1971 Roland-Garros
🏆 1971 Wimbledon
🏆 1974 #AusOpen
— wta (@WTA) January 29, 2022
A huge hug and a kiss on the forehand for Casey Dellacqua, Barty’s first pro doubles partner, the woman who played such a huge role in her journey into (and out of, and back into) this sport.
Cheers Case. pic.twitter.com/FwQhv1j2Tp
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 29, 2022
Meanwhile, speaking after the match, Barty said thanked all those who helped her along the journey to the top and then congratualted 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.”