Ash Barty Defeats Danielle Collins to Win 2022 Australian Open Women's Final

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 29, 2022

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29: Ashleigh Barty of Australia with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning her Women’s Singles Final match against Danielle Collins of United States during day 13 of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Ash Barty defeated Danielle Collins on Saturday to become the first Aussie woman to capture the Australian Open women's singles title since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

It's the third major championship for Barty, who previously won the 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon Championships. The No. 1 seed won all seven matches in the tournament without dropping a set, capping the dominant run with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) triumph at Melbourne Park.

Collins, an American who was the event's No. 27 seed, was making her first Grand Slam final appearance.

Barty came out firing in the first set, racking up 11 winners and five aces while winning 94 percent of the points on her first serve (15 of 16). She secured a break midway through the set and cruised to the early edge.

The second set was more of an adventure as Collins secured a pair of breaks to take a 5-1 lead, but the 25-year-old Australian stormed back by winning four straight games. She went on to grab a 4-0 lead in the tiebreaker en route to finishing the match in straight sets.

"This is just a dream come true for me, and I'm so proud to be an Aussie," Barty told reporters.

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"It's a dream come true"<br><br>Ashleigh Barty. <a href="https://t.co/DQd8dPwSQD">pic.twitter.com/DQd8dPwSQD</a>

She finished the match with sizable advantages in winners (30-17) and aces (10-1) to complete one of the most impressive Grand Slam runs in recent memory.

Collins, 28, has been a late bloomer by modern standards, as she didn't advance beyond the first round of a major until she was 25. She's making up for lost time, however, highlighted by a pair of WTA titles last year in the Palermo International and Silicon Valley Classic.

The University of Virginia product didn't play poorly in the championship match, finishing with the same number of unforced errors as her top-seeded counterpart (22), but she didn't have quite enough firepower to overcome an in-form Barty.

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"I know that you'll be fighting for many more of these in the future."<br><br>Nothing but respect for Danielle Collins from the world No.1 💙<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AusOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AusOpen</a> • <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AO2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AO2022</a> <a href="https://t.co/6sRLDrTzdB">pic.twitter.com/6sRLDrTzdB</a>

"It's been tremendous to watch her climb the rankings all the way to No. 1 and live out her dream. I really admire you as the player you are and the variety of your game," Collins said in her runner-up speech. "Hopefully I can implement some of that into mine."

Barty is now a U.S. Open singles title away from completing the career Grand Slam. She did win a doubles title at the season's final major in 2018 alongside CoCo Vandeweghe.

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Reminder for those who needed to hear it:<br><br>Ashleigh Barty is the best tennis player in the world.

Her run in Melbourne, which saw her lose just 21 games across her first six matches, further establishes her as the player to beat on the WTA Tour for the remainder of 2022.

Meanwhile, the Australian Open wraps up Sunday as Rafael Nadal seeks his 21st Grand Slam title, which would be a men's all-time record, against Daniil Medvedev.