Barty celebrates the Australian Open win in Melbourne Park. Courtesy of The Age (Scott McNaughton), 2022.
Ash Barty has become the first Australian to take home an Australian Open Women’s Singles title since Chris O’Neil in 1978. After recovering from a 5-1 second set against American Danielle Collins, Barty fired back to win a 6-3 7-6(2) victory in the championship match at the Rod Laver Arena (The Guardian, 2022).
This win is Barty’s third Grand Slam Women's Singles title, following her victories at Wimbledon last year and Roland Garros in 2019. As a world No.1 now, Barty has gone on to join the legendary Serena Williams as the only active women’s players to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces (The Guardian, 2022).
“To have a Grand Slam title on each surface is pretty amazing…I never probably thought it would ever happen to me. So very, very lucky and very humbled and privileged,” Barty expressed in a press conference.
Barty wins at the Wimbledon Opens 2021. Courtesy of The Guardian (Tom Jenkins), 2022.
Over the past few years, Barty has used and continues to use her platform as a sports champion to speak about her Indigenous heritage, and give back to her community. Barty is following in the footsteps of her childhood idol, mentor and four times Australian Open champion, Evonne Goolagon Cawley. Goolagon Cawley actually surprised Barty in the awards ceremony by presenting her with the trophy in Melbourne Park alongside Olympic medalist Cathy Freeman. The image below has instantly become an iconic Australian sporting image, as there stands three proud First Nations female athletes who have each conquered the world of sport (The Age, 2022).
“Cathy and Evonne are exceptional people, exceptional athletes, and they have paved the path for so many of us. I am still in the category of trying to follow in their footsteps and be the best that I can, but to be a really small part of a legacy that they have created is really cool and I am just trying to create my own pathway and guideline of what they have done for us and our culture and heritage. They are two absolute superstars,” Barty humbly stated at one of her media duties, proudly carrying the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
Barty was presented with the Australian Open trophy by Catherine Freeman and Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Courtesy of The Age (Scott Barbour/Tennis Australia), 2022.
Barty’s victory also coincides with the celebration of the Opens tournament’s 100th year since the women’s singles competition was introduced. This celebration makes the proud Ngarigo woman the 47th woman, and 17th Australian, to claim the Opens Women's Singles title over this century.
Ash Barty is a true inspiration both in terms of her sporting achievements and the incredible community work she does. So, let’s continue to acknowledge and celebrate the success and contributions of Indigenous athletes and sportspeople, particularly women who are so often under-appreciated and mistreated within Australian sport.
If you would like to learn more about Barty’s tennis achievements, check out our article The Significance of Ash Barty Winning Wimbledon.