Ashleigh Barty beat Danielle Collins in the final to win the 2022 Australian Open women’s singles title, ending her country’s 44-year wait for a home Grand Slam champion, here on Saturday.

Top seed Barty overturned a 5-1 deficit in the second set to defeat No, 27 seed Collins 6-3, 7-6(2) in the final, becoming the first home champion at the tournament since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

The title is Barty’s third Grand Slam crown, and second out of the last three, following Roland Garros 2019 and Wimbledon 2021. The 25-year-old becomes the second active player to claim major titles on all three surfaces, alongside 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

Barty is also the eighth WTA player in the Open Era to win Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Appropriately, the only other woman to capture her first three majors at each of those was fellow Indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who presented Barty with the trophy afterward.

It is World No. 1 Barty’s 15th title overall, fourth on home soil and second in a row following her Adelaide triumph in the first week of 2022. She has won 12 of her past 14 finals dating back to Miami 2019, with her only losses coming to Naomi Osaka at Beijing 2019 and Aryna Sabalenka at Madrid 2020. (IANS)