The final for the 2022 Australian Open is all set and will be contested on Saturday night in Melbourne between Ash Barty and Danielle Collins. Spoiler alert – the semi-finals weren’t great but please do still read on for my thoughts (😂) in the penultimate MTB post from the 2022 Australian Open.
SF stories 📚
Still yet to drop more than four games in a set, Ash Barty cruised into her first Australian Open final with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Madison Keys. I’d bought into Keys during this tournament so I really thought this would be closer. Barty got off to a good start and never relinquished control, saving a break point in each set. Barty was able to nullify the Keys serve with chipped returns back into play, cause all kinds of problems with the backhand slice, and dictate more often than not with her forehand.
Barty is so good at making her opponents look rather pedestrian! Keys didn’t play well as she struggled with her backhand. So much of that was down to Barty. Keys had some very interesting insights about Barty’s game in press. My favourite remark about the backhand slice – “everything is coming at your shoelaces” 😂. Everything crossed that these performances down under are just the beginning of a super year for Madison.
Not much more to say about Ash. Big occasion and she handled it impeccably. The scorelines have all been one-sided but I thought this was her best display from the second week.
Yeah, semi-finals day was a bit of a bummer in terms of the actual matches. In the second semi-final, the number 27 seed, Danielle Collins reached her first Slam final with a 6-4 6-1 victory over the number seven seed, Iga Swiatek.
Again, my pre-conceptions of the match (although I had Collins to win!) were off because I thought it would be a super contest. Collins raced out into a 4-0 lead. Swiatek came back but Collins served out the set second time around with a trio of aces. Collins was absolutely ripping on the Swiatek second serve (Swiatek 3/21 on 2nd serve points won for the match). The American was absolutely relentless in the second set as Swiatek kept feeding her backhands.
A tough turnaround for Swiatek after yesterday’s three hour bruiser against Kanepi. Already broken a barrier compared to 2021 and it feels like the only way is up. I found Collins’s muted reaction at the end a little jarring. Almost like, i’m not done yet! Her words in the post-match interview gave off excitement but that didn’t come across in her body language. Collins said in press she was in the zone and almost wasn’t expecting to win the match on the point she won it. One thing that i’ve gone on about a lot at this tournament is that Collins came in cold to the AO. She hadn’t played a match in 2022 before this tournament and now she’s into the final!
Super snap 📸
Press highlights 📰
Another interesting press conference from Collins. There was a great story about rock climbing with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in yesterday’s presser and today she talks about watching Venus and Serena, and playing tennis at the park.
SF predictions ✅
SF stats: 1/2 on TDC
SF highlights: Champ still in play!
Final preview 🤔
We’ll have a new Australian Open champion on Saturday! I thought Keys would give Barty her toughest match and look how that turned out. I do, again (😬), think this will be Barty’s toughest match. All the pressure and expectation is on Barty (no matter what Ash says in press) and Collins has beaten Barty before which was Barty’s last loss in Australia. Collins has such a dangerous game. It could be gripping if Collins can play her way into the match. I’m still going for Ash!