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Ashleigh Barty hails Australian Open title as “dream come true”

Ashleigh Barty hails Australian Open title as “dream come true”

Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty has hailed her third Grand Slam title as a “dream come true” after defeating American Danielle Collins in straight sets in Saturday’s final at the Rod Laver Arena.

The 25-year-old followed up her 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon titles with a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) victory over Collins – who was appearing in her first-ever Grand Slam final – thanks to a storming comeback in the second set.

Barty came back from 5-1 down in the second set to force a tie-break and take the title in front of the home crowd, ending a 44-year wait for a home-grown Australian Open champion.

Addressing the crowd during her on-court interview, Barty said: “First and foremost I have to say congratulations to Danielle and her team. I know you’ll be fighting for many of these in the future.

“I’m a little stumped here, I’d love to thank Jane, Craig, your team and everyone behind the scenes It takes a real village to put on an event like this – this tournament has been one of my favourite experiences.

“I’ve said numerous times I’m so lucky to have so many people here who support me and love me. I’m an incredibly fortunate and lucky girl to have so much love in my corner. I love you guys to death.

“As an Aussie the most important part is being able to share it with all of these people, you guys have been nothing short of exceptional. You guys brought me so much joy and forced me to play my best tennis.

“This is just a dream come true for me – I’m so proud to be an Aussie. Thank you so much everyone, see you next time!”

Chris O’Neil was the last Australian to win a singles Australian Open title back in 1978 before Barty’s success on Saturday, which makes it three Grand Slam singles finals and three victories for the world number one.

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