Thursday, June 1, 2023

Barty unlocks Keys to reach maiden Australian Open final

Ash Barty stood one win away from ending Australia’s 44-year wait for a home-grown champion after she defeated American Madison Keys 6-1 6-3 in the Australian Open semi-final on Thursday. The Wimbledon champion continued her remarkable run during the past fortnight in Melbourne Park and reached the final without dropping a set, losing just 21 games in six matches.
Victory on Saturday would make Barty the first local to win the Australian Open since Chris O’Neil in 1978. Barty, who is the first Australian to reach a final at home since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005, will play American 27th seed Danielle Collins in the decider.
Barty said she cannot wait to play on Saturday.
She paid tribute to her American opponent, who endured a difficult 2021 but has started the season brightly.
Collins set up
final with Barty
American Danielle Collins showed she will provide a formidable obstacle to home favourite Ash Barty’s hopes of winning the Australian Open with a crushing 6-4 6-1 defeat of Poland’s Iga Swiatek to reach her first Grand Slam final on Thursday.
After Barty’s demolition of American Madison Keys earlier, the 30th ranked Collins produced an equally dominant display to give former French Open champion Swiatek no chance.
World number one Barty will be the overwhelming favourite on Saturday as she attempts to become the first local to win the Australian Open since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
But the 28-year-old Collins, a product of the American college system and twice an NCAA champion, showed against Swiatek that she can mix it with the best.


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