MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ash Barty recovered from 5-1 down in the second set to win the Australian Open final 6-3, 7-6 (2) over Danielle Collins on Saturday, ending a 44-year drought for Australian women at their home Grand Slam tournament.
The top-ranked Barty won the first set with one service break against the 27th-seeded Collins.
But the 28-year-old American hit back quickly, breaking Barty's serve in the second and sixth games to take a 5-1 lead. Barty had only dropped one service game through six previous rounds in the tournament.
Momentum was with Collins and she twice served for the set, aiming to take her first Grand Slam final to a third set.
But Barty launched a comeback, winning five of the next six games and then dominating the tiebreaker.
Barty was the first Australian woman into the singles final of the Australian Open since Wendy Turnbull in 1980 and is now the first Australian champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
The 25-year-old Barty now has major titles on three surfaces, adding the hard court at Melbourne Park to her win on grass at Wimbledon last year and on clay at the French Open in 2019.
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John Pye, The Associated Press