Melbourne, Australia, 27 January 2022 | Leigh Rogers

For the first time in 42 years, an Australian has progressed to the Australian Open women’s singles final.

Ash Barty booked her place in this year’s championship match with a commanding 6-1 6-3 victory against American Madison Keys at Rod Laver Arena tonight.

“Honestly, it’s just incredible,” Barty said.

“I love this tournament, I love coming out here and playing in Australia. As an Aussie we are exceptionally spoiled that we are a Grand Slam nation and that we get to play at home, play in our backyard … now we have a chance to play for a title. It’s unreal.”

The world No.1 made a strong start, breaking Keys in the opening game of the tournament’s first-ever women’s singles semifinal played in a night session.

Barty shone in the prime-time setting, taking the opening set in 26 minutes. She hit seven winners and lost only five points on serve.

A rattled Keys, on the other hand, managed just three winners and committed 14 unforced errors.

The ever-determined Barty stayed focused in the second set, breaking in the sixth game and then holding to love to move ahead 5-2.

World No.51 Keys forced Barty to serve it out, which she dutifully did to secure victory after 62 minutes on court.

The 25-year-old Barty becomes the eighth Australian in the Open era to advance to an Australian Open women’s singles final and is the first to do so since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.

She is also the first Australian woman to reach this stage since Melbourne Park opened in 1988.

If Barty continues her winning run, she could become just the fifth Aussie woman in the Open era to claim an Australian Open singles title. The most recent champion was Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Australian Open women’s singles
Australian finalists in Open era
Finalist Year
Margaret Court 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973
Kerry Reid 1970, 1977
Evonne Goolagong Cawley 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Dianne Balestrat 1977
Helen Gourlay 1977
Chris O’Neil 1978
Wendy Turnbull 1980
Ash Barty 2022

Note: Bold = Champion. Two separate editions of the tournament were held in 1977 (in January and December)

Barty plays 27th-seeded American Danielle Collins in Saturday night’s final.

The top seed has won three of their four previous career meetings, however Collins won their most recent clash at last year’s Adelaide International.

“(I’ll) come out here on Saturday, enjoy it, have a massive smile on my face and see what happens,” Barty said.

Australian Open 2022

Women’s singles, semifinals
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) d Madison Keys (USA) 6-1 6-3

Men’s doubles, semifinals
Matt Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) d [2] Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR) 6-3 7-6(9)
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d [3] Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 7-6(4) 6-4

Quad wheelchair singles, final
[2] Sam Schroder (NED) d [1] Dylan Alcott (AUS) 7-5 6-0

Girls’ singles, quarterfinals
Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (AUS) d Carolina Kuhl (GER) 6-1 6-2

Girls’ doubles, semifinal
[1] Clervie Ngounoue (USA)/Diana Schnaider (RUS) d  [WC] Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (AUS)/Taylah Preston (AUS) 7-5 7-6(5)

Women’s singles, final
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v [27] Danielle Collins (USA)

Men’s doubles, final
Matt Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v [WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

Mixed doubles, final
[WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v [5] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)/Ivan Dodig (CRO)

Girls’ singles, semifinal
Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (AUS) v [8] Sofia Costoulas (BEL)

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