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The Australian Open hasn't seen an Australian singles winner in 43 years — until now

Ash Barty of Australia celebrates after defeating Danielle Collins of the U.S., in the women's singles final at the Australian Open on Saturday in Melbourne.
Mark Baker
/
AP
Ash Barty of Australia celebrates after defeating Danielle Collins of the U.S., in the women's singles final at the Australian Open on Saturday in Melbourne.

Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty beat out Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6 (2) to become the women's singles champion at the Australian Open in Melbourne Saturday night.

Australia had gone 43 years without a singles win at their own open until Barty's win. The last was Chris O'Neil in January 1979 at the 1978 edition of the tournament in Kooyong. Barty, 25, has dominated the entire tournament, where she didn't lose a single set.

"This is just a dream come true for me and I'm so proud to be an Aussie," Barty said after her win.

She also thanked the crowd for being exceptional.

"This crowd is one of the most fun I've ever played in front of and you guys brought me so much joy out here today ... you forced me to play my best tennis," she said.

Also coming out on top were Australians Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis who won the men's doubles title with a 7-5, 6-4 win. They beat out fellow Australians Matt Ebden and Max Purcell.

On the last day of the tournament on Sunday, the men's singles champion will be determined. Rafael Nadal, who is seeking a record-setting 21st Grand Slam title, will play Daniil Medvedev.

Nadal beat Matteo Berrettini in the semifinal match on Friday.

"To be able to have the chance to compete at this level, it's positive energy for me to keep going, because being very honest, for me it is much more important to have the chance to play tennis than win number 21," Nadal said after that match.

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Deepa Shivaram
Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.