Ashleigh Barty reached the final of Australian Open without losing sets. His serve was broken only once and he only conceded 21 games in six games. It seemed that the conquest would be easy when the number 1 in the world won the opening set this Saturday, against Danielle Collins (#30). The American, however, started a beautiful reaction, and the Australian momentarily lost control of the shares. In the end, however, Barty was pushed by the crowd, had an incredible comeback in the second set and left the court with a victory by 6/3 and 7/6(2) that gave him his first home slam title.
The 25 year old girl ends a 43-year fast, becoming the first Australian tennis player to win the tournament’s singles bracket since Chris O’Neill, who defeated Betsy Nagelsen in the final of the 1978 event. At that time, the Australian Open was still played on the grass courts of the Kooyong Club, also in Melbourne, and held in December.
Barty now has it on his resume three singles slam titles. She also won Roland Garros in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021. Next Monday, she will enter her 113th week at number 1 in the world. She ranks eighth in the list of women who have spent the most time at the top of the rankings, behind only Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Justine Henin.
How did it happen
The match started evenly, but apparently because Barty didn’t take the court with full force. The number 1 in the world, by the way, had her serve threatened in the fifth game, but was saved with a winner. It was what the house tennis player needed to “wake up”. In the next game, it was the Australian’s turn to put pressure on the opponent’s serve, and Collins couldn’t resist. Serving at 30/40, he committed a double fault and saw Barty open 4/2. After that, it became difficult for the American to threaten the service of the number 1 again. Ash, after all, won 94% (15/16) of the points played with the first serve.
The second set saw a drop in Barty’s performance, and Collins took the opportunity to take the lead. In the second game, with an aggressive return, the American forced a number 1 error and converted the break point. It was only the second time in the tournament that the Australian lost a game of serve. Ash’s bad moment continued in the third game, when she missed an easy volley that would have given her a break back. Later, in the sixth game, Barty also missed a volley swing and made a double fault that gave Collins a 5/1 lead.
With the number 1 on the court, however, nothing is guaranteed, and the damage seems to have made Ash play more comfortable, with nothing to lose. More loose, he started to make less mistakes and attack efficiently. The result of this? Barty returned both breaks and evened the score at 5/5. The partial went into the tie-break, and the number 1 took advantage of a mistake by Collins in the first point to open 3/0, confirming her two serves in the sequence. The volume of the crowd rose, and the American found no way out. Ash opened 4/0 with another mini-break and didn’t look back.
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