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Friday, July 1, 2022

‘Simply the best’: world delights in Ash Barty’s Australian Open triumph | Ash Barty

The tennis and wider sporting world has delighted in Ash Barty’s grand slam triumph after the world No 1 became the first local to win the Australian Open women’s singles crown in 44 years.

Barty beat American Danielle Collins in straight sets on Rod Laver Arena to become the first Australian to triumph at Melbourne Park since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Men’s tennis great Rod Laver posted a photo on Twitter with Barty, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, O’Neil and Judy Dalton and hailed the 25-year-old’s “special” achievement.

“A Grand Slam champion on three different surfaces, you are the complete player @AshBarty and I am so happy for you tonight,” he tweeted. “There’s nothing like winning at home, congratulations #AO2022 champion, it is wonderful to be here for this moment and to celebrate with Australia.”

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka hailed the brilliant 25-year-old.

“There is just no better tennis player at the moment than @ashbarty,” Azarenka tweeted. “Most complete and focused! The way she is able to put pieces together and add a bit more to her game is absolutely admirable! What an example!”

Australian tennis legend Sam Stosur, who marked her 20th and final singles appearances at Melbourne Park, delighted in her compatriot’s success.

“I am speechless. You can’t be speechless on radio but I am,” Stosur said on SEN radio.

'A really special moment': Ash Barty wins first Australian Open title – video
‘A really special moment’: Ash Barty wins first Australian Open title – video

Barty’s accomplishment also resonated with other athletes. The Matildas, who are in India ahead of their Asian Cup quarter-final against South Korea, delayed their pre-match press conference to watch the second-set tiebreak.

Captain Sam Kerr labelled Barty “simply the best” on Twitter while forward Kyah Simon, a proud Anaiwan/Biripi woman, hailed Barty’s influence and said the Matildas would draw inspiration from the Indigenous tennis star.

“I’m super proud of her and what she has achieved,” Simon said. “Ash is such a positive role model in Australia and she’s proud of her Indigenous heritage, as am I.

“There are so many young kids who will aspire to be a tennis player one day and be Ash Barty. She inspires us by playing a different code so you can only imagine the impact she has on other kids around the world.”

Many delighted in seeing proud Ngarigo woman Barty enjoying the moment alongside her idol Goolagong Cawley and athletics great Cathy Freeman – fellow Indigenous women.

“Ash. Evonne. Cathy. A triumvirate of brilliant women,” Australian netball great Liz Ellis tweeted.

Australian women’s cricketer Alyssa Healy, who is in the middle of an Ashes Test match, said the three-time grand slam champion’s achievements were “iconic”.

Barty’s win was one of the most viewed women’s final since records were started in 1999, with a peak audience of 4.261 million and an average audience of 3.577 million according to Channel Nine. The figures would have made it one of the most viewed TV events of 2021, Nine newspapers reported.

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