Russell Crowe and other celebrities at historic Australian Open final – in pictures – The National

It was a historic day at the Australian Open on Saturday as Ashleigh Barty became the first Aussie to win her home major in 44 years, defeating American Danielle Collins in straight sets.

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The world No1 was 5-1 down in the second set before staging a stellar comeback to win on a tiebreak and beat the 27th seed 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at Rod Laver Arena.

“It’s a dream come true for me and I’m just so proud to be an Aussie,” Barty said after the win.

“As an Aussie the most important part of this tournament is being able to share it with so many people and you guys in the crowd have been nothing shy of exceptional.

“You relaxed me and forced me to play my best tennis against a champion like Danielle. I knew I absolutely had to bring that today.

“And congratulations to Danielle, it’s been an amazing fortnight and you’re back in the top 10 where you belong,” she added.

Barty thus became the first Australian singles champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978. She now has Grand Slam singles titles on three surfaces, adding the Melbourne title to her wins on grass at Wimbledon last year and on clay at the 2019 French Open.

Anticipation was high ahead of the match and a number of famous names attended the final at Melbourne Park, including Olympic heroes Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe as well as Hollywood star Russell Crowe.

Updated: January 29th 2022, 12:35 PM

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