No. 1-ranked Ashleigh Barty defeated Danielle Collins in the Australian Open women's final Saturday in Melbourne, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), to become the first Australian to win the women's singles title since 1978. Barty, 25, didn't surrender a single set en route to the third Grand Slam title of her career (2021 Wimbledon, 2019 French Open).
In Saturday's championship, Barty won the first set over the American Collins in just 32 minutes but fought her way back from a 1-5 second set deficit to win in a tiebreaker. Despite standing just 5-5, Barty is an excellent server and finished with 10 aces (compared to Collins' one ace in the match) and won 82 percent of her first serve points (compared to Collins' 63 percent). In the tiebreak, Barty won seven of nine points and struck a forehand passing shot winner for championship point.
"This is just a dream come true for me and I'm so proud to be an Aussie," Barty said in her post-match interview. "As an Aussie, the most important part of this tournament is being able to share it with so many people. You guys today in the crowd have been nothing shy of exceptional. This crowd is one of the most fun I've ever played in front of and you guys brought me so much joy out here today."
Collins, 28, was a a two-time NCAA singles champion while at the University of Virginia. Collins' breakthrough on the professional circuit came at the 2019 Australian Open where she reached the semifinals after upsetting World No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the fourth round. En route to this year's championship, Collins upset 2020 French Open winner Iga Świątek in the semifinals. Following Saturday's final -- Collins' maiden Grand Slam final -- she will now move inside the women's top 10 rankings, which marks a career high.
Road to the Final:
Barty (No. 1 seed)
R1: def. Lesia Tsurenko, 6-0, 6-1
R2: def. Lucia Bronzetti, 6-1, 6-1
R3: def. No. 30 Camila Giorgi, 6-2, 6-3
R4: def. Amanda Anisimova, 6-4, 6-3
QF: def. No. 21 Jessica Pegula, 6-2, 6-0
SF: def. Madison Keys, 6-1, 6-3
Collins (No. 27 seed)
R1: def. Caroline Dolehide, 6-1, 6-3
R2: def. Ana Konjuh, 6-4, 6-3
R3: def. Clara Tauson, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
R4: def. No. 19 Elise Mertens, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
QF: def. Alizé Cornet, 7-5, 6-1
SF: def. No. 7 Iga Świątek, 6-4, 6-1
Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev will meet in the men's final Sunday. The sixth-seeded Nadal will look to win his 21st Grand Slam title and break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, while No. 2 seed Medvedev will look to follow up his 2021 US Open win and earn his second career Grand Slam.