Bertie faces Collins in a bid to end the Australian title drought


Melbourne, Australia-Ashleigh Barty has been a crowd favorite at Melbourne Park long before reaching the Australian Open final and ending the 42-year drought.

Danielle Collins said it was “great” to play against the top female player in the final of the Home Grand Slam event on Saturday.

The 28-year-old American had a bit of a taste of what to expect in the first Grand Slam final after defeating 7-seeded Igasweirtech in the 6–4, 6–1 semifinals on Thursday.

Epoch Times Photo
Daniel Collins of the United States backhanded backhand to Iga Sifion of Poland in the semifinals of the Australian Open Tennis Championships on January 27, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Hamish Blair / AP photo)

Bertie defeated Madison Keys 6–1 and 6–3 in the 62nd minute of the first semi-final match, while Collins defeated 2020 French Open champion Swiatech in 78 minutes to conclude the night.

As expected, there was a boo after Collins finished a television interview in court. It’s not too loud or too long, but it’s still a sign of the future.

Bertie won the first major title on clay at the French Open in 2019 and the second title on the lawn at Wimbledon last year. Now that she has become the first Australian woman to make it to the finals since Wendy Turnbull in 1980, Bertie has a good chance to claim her first on the hardcourt. But she’s too aware that Australian women haven’t won singles titles here since Christine O’Neil in 1978.

“As Australians, we are very spoiled for being able to play in our backyard,” said 25-year-old Bertie. “Now we have a chance to play for the title. It’s unrealistic.”

Bertie lost to final champion Sofia Kenin when he finally reached the Australian Open semi-finals in 2020. She said she learned from that kind of pressure as much as she won other Grand Slams.

“Absolutely accept it,” she said about the expectations of the house. “Make sure. It’s fun. It’s great to play at the end of your home slum business. I’m not going to lie about it — it’s great.”

Keys is the latest in a line of rivals that explains that Bertie’s sliced ​​backhand and her answer to a wide variety of serves were few.

Bertie has gone from 20 to just eight in Keys, who played in the Australian Open semifinals for the first time since 2015. She lost to final champion Serena Williams, the last seed to win the women’s title in Melbourne that year. park.

Bertie converted four of the six breakpoint opportunities and saved only the two breakpoints he faced in the serve against the 2017 US Open runner-up. In the last six games in the tournament, she dropped one service game.

The 27th seeded Collins relies on power games and imposes relentless energy on all contests.

The winner of her forehand cross-court for setting her first matchpoint was typical of her semi-final form. She hit 27 winners and had only 13 unforced errors. She opened each set on a serve break and won a 4-0 lead both times.

Epoch Times Photo
Supporters of Australia’s Ashberty are showing signs of support in the semi-finals against Madison Keys of the United States at the Australian Open Tennis Championships on January 27, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Hamish Blair / AP photo)

Collins said she delayed her professional career by playing in the US college system, which gave her a good foundation in dealing with what she calls a “disadvantageous” crowd.

Playing in an empty stadium during the COVID-19 pandemic has made fans thank the crowd, whether they support, disagree, or are neutral.

“That’s what I’m really prospering, whether I’m welcoming a full audience or vice versa,” she said. “I really love energy. I’m really excited to get out there and compete.

“I understand that there are many people who support Ash. It’s all fine.”

Her participation in the 2019 Collins semi-finals was her record high in a Grand Slam tournament. After she had surgery last year to treat endometriosis, she said she was less painful and in better condition to win.

Keys recorded the best 10 games in a row in his career ahead of the semi-finals. This includes winning her first WTA title since 2019 in a tune-up tournament in Adelaide. Her total in 2021 when she fell into her 50s in the rankings. She is expected to return to her top 30 next week.

The stadium’s capacity is limited to two-thirds, and the state government has raised the previous 50% limit on courts issued later this week as part of the relaxation of rules for the COVID-19 pandemic. I allowed it.

Most of the support in the first match was clearly for Bertie. The “Let’s go Barty, Let’s go!” Chanto, combined with tuned applause, takes place regularly on every switch, with fan pockets in yellow shirts, synonymous with Australian players, scattered throughout the arena. Was there. Rod Laver himself, a dilapidated Australian tennis master, was at the stadium.

Bertie has one win because it gives the host country a title, but there is definitely a win in another tournament.

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, dubbed “Special K,” defeated three-seeded Marcel Granolars and Oracio Sevalos 7-6 (4), 6-4 at the nearly packed Rod Laver Arena. Secured the All-Australia Men’s Doubles Final. Fans were allowed to enter the main stadium with a ground pass during the daytime session and did not need a stadium ticket for the afternoon session.

Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell defeated Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury’s second-seeded team 6–3, 7–6 at the nearly empty adjacent Margaret Court Arena (9).

Also on the 11th day, Dylan Alcott’s farewell tournament was defeated in the wheelchair quad final against Sam Schroeder of the Netherlands.

Alcott was selected as the Australian of the Year at the National Foundation Day celebration and attended a ceremony in the capital of Canberra between the semi-final victory and the final.

Olcott retires in a wheelchair quad with 15 Grand Slam titles. He completed an unprecedented golden slam last year and won all four majors and the Tokyo Paralympic gold medal.

After her victory, Bertie praised: “He influenced the country … I couldn’t be proud of him anymore.”

John Pai

Associated Press

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