A genuine Australian living legend, Ngarigo woman Ash Barty has again consolidated her absolute icon status by winning the Aus Open. After an absolute ripper of a game, she’s the first Aussie woman to win the competition in 44 years
Now that’s fucking incredible.
Ash Barty — who’s the world number one — played American Danielle Collins.
It was Collins’ first grand slam final and she’s ranked 30th in the world. Collins recently spoke up about having endometriosis surgery last year. Pretty fucking impressive to go from having a serious surgery to competing in the finals of the Aus Open in a year, if you ask me.
She also gave Barty a hard run for her money with the game having to go to a tiebreak.
A pair of absolute queens, IMO.
The Aus Open win is Ash Barty’s third major title. She won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021.
The last Aussie woman to win the Aus Open singles final was Chris O’Neil, who won over American Betsy Nagelsen in 1978. I’d like to think that back then, all the competitors were playing in ABBA-esque flares.
After O’Neil, Wendy Turnbull lost to Hana Mandlíková in 1980 and since then we haven’t had an Aussie woman in the finals.
Enter: Ash Barty. As if we couldn’t love her any more.
She was presented with the trophy by her mentor and fellow tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley, a Wiradjuri woman and fellow world number one.
Goolagong Cawley won the Aus Open singles four times during her career.
Speaking in the post-match conference, Barty gave a shoutout to Danielle Collins, as well as all the people behind the scenes who help make the Open happen.
“First and foremost I have to say congratulations to Danielle and your team,” Barty said.
“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.”
She then described herself as a “little stumped”.
And here I am, tearing up about tennis.
Finally, Barty thanked the crowd.
Calling it now, Australian of the Year 2023.
When Barty secured her spot in the final on Thursday evening, she was clear about how significant it was.
“It’s unreal. Honestly, it’s just incredible,” she said at the time.
“I love this tournament, I love coming out here and playing in Australia and as an Aussie we are exceptionally spoiled that we are a Grand Slam nation.
“We get to play at home, play in our backyard and I’m just happy that I get to play my best tennis here.
Later on Saturday night is the men’s double finals, which will see Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis (aka ‘Special K’, an excellent moniker) take on fellow Aussies Matt Ebden and Max Purcell.
Alas, ‘Special M’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.