Ashleigh Barty scripted history on Saturday,
beating Danielle Collins in straight sets to become the first Australian woman
to win the Australian Open title in 44 years. The 25-year-old world number one
recovered from 5-1 down in the second set to beat Collins 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).

Barty, the first homegrown player to reach
the final in Melbourne since Wendy Turnbull in 1980, became the first
Australian woman to win the Grand Slam since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Rod Laver, who has three Australian Open
titles among his 11 Grand Slams, was among the first to congratulate Barty on her
historic achievement.

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

He also posted a picture with Australian
tennis greats Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Chris O’Neil, Judy Dalton and Ashleigh Barty
following her win.

American tennis legend Billie Jean King also congratulated Barty, saying her achivement of ending the 44-year drought of a homegrown Australian Open winner makes for a “special day for Australia”. 

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Check out some more reactions:

This was Barty’s maiden Australian Open triumph and her third Grand Slam title overall, adding to her Wimbledon 2020 and French Open 2019 crowns. She joins Serena Williams as the only active players on the women’s tour with majors on all three surfaces.

“This is just a dream come true for me,” the 25-year-old Barty said. “I’m just so proud to be an Aussie.”

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She was presented the trophy by her icon and fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley – a seven-time Grand Slam winner. 

O’Neil was involved in the night, too, after carrying the trophy into the stadium for the pre-match ceremony. 

“I’m an incredibly fortunate and lucky girl to have so much love in my corner,” Barty said, thanking her coach and support team, her family, the tournament organizers and the crowd.