After a 6-1 6-3 victory over Madison Keys at Melbourne Park, Ashleigh Barty has advanced to the Australian Open final, where she will meet American Danielle Collins.
On Saturday, the world No. 1 will play either world No. 30 Danielle Collins or seventh seed Iga Swiatek in the final, with the world No. 1 aiming to capture her first Grand Slam championship at home.
Since 1980, Barty has been the first Australian woman to reach the final in Melbourne.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” the 25-year-old said of reaching the Australian Open final for the first time.
“I love this competition, and I enjoy travelling over to Australia to play.” As Australians, we are really fortunate to be a Grand Slam nation and to be able to compete in our own backyard.
“I’m simply glad I got to play some of my best tennis here.” I enjoy it; I’ve done well in the past, and now we have the opportunity to compete for a championship. It’s unbelievable!”
21 – Ashleigh #Barty has dropped 21 games to reach the final at the #AO2022: in 2000s, only Serena Williams (16 at the US Open 2013 and 19 at Flushing Meadows 2012) and Venus Williams (20 at Wimbledon 2009) have lost fewest games to reach a Grand Slam final. Strong.
— OptaAce (@OptaAce) January 27, 2022
Since Wendy Turnbull reached the finals in the women’s singles event 22 years ago, Australia has been without a finalist, with Chris O’Neal being the previous Australian champion two years prior.
Keys had blasted her way through the draw, eliminating two top-10 seeds in Paula Badosa and Barbora Krejcikova in the final two rounds, but Barty has appeared a class above the rest for the past two weeks.
The 25-year-old Australian has a great sense of the game, glides about the court, and has a beautiful backhand slice.
Keys’ shots, which would have been winning against virtually anybody else, were met with curiosity, causing the nervous American to go for more and miss.
The first set was over in just 26 minutes, and while Keys helped to steady the ship a little in the second, Barty broke for a 4-2 lead.
Keys’ attempts to put pressure on her opponent by coming to the net only served as a target for Barty, who advanced to her third Grand Slam final.
Collins makes history by becoming the first American woman to reach a Grand Slam final
With a 6-4 6-1 victory over Iga Swiatek, Danielle Collins became the first American woman to reach a Grand Slam final.
Swiatek, who only won three points on her second serve during the match, was simply too much for the 28-year-kind old’s of first-strike tennis.
Swiatek made a valiant effort to recover after dropping the first four games, but Collins held on to capture the first set. Throughout the second, she maintained her foot firmly on the pedal.
Collins stated after reaching her first major final, “It feels wonderful.”
“It’s been a long road, and nothing happens overnight. It’s been a lot of years of hard effort and hours on the court since I was a kid.
“It’s fantastic to be on this platform, especially given my health issues; I’m grateful beyond words. I couldn’t be more pleased.
“You witnessed my ‘Plan A’ today, and I wanted to put it into action as best I could. I really wanted to keep with it because it was working so nicely for me today.”
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