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!
4 thoughts on “2022 Australian Open SF Notes”
I planned to comment before the semi’s but had a power cut at my home. However I do want to say that I agree with Iga that showing emotions on court is not a weakness. I like to see it providing the emotions are genuine….I do not want to watch robots ! It shows that the player cares and it is not all about the money.
I expected the semi finals to be more competitive than they were. I was not too surprised that Iga lost….I like her attitude but think that she is going to be a consistent player who goes deep into a lot of Grand Slams without winning many in her career.
I think that Ash will win the final. She is in excellent form and I think that she will cope ok with the occasion well and also be ok with the expectations from the home media and spectators.
I like to see emotions too, Peter. I guess that’s why I bought so much into the Cornet story because you could see how much it meant to her. Felt like a bit of a breakthrough run for Swiatek with those back-to-back three set wins and making her first hard court SF. I agree, she’s been very consistent over the past year at the Slams, mostly beating the players you would expect her to beat and avoiding the early upset train.
I didn’t find Collins’s muted reaction jarring but a symbolism of this era of WTA. So many less heralded players have reached Grand Slam finals lately, that it is now a very accessible outcome for someone like Collins. She didn’t see this achievement as that big of a deal given so many are doing it.
I actually had Collins in my year-end Top 10 predictions! I’m predicting Barty to falter under the nerves of winning her home slam of and put in a bad performance, enabling Collins to win her first Grand Slam. But I think Barty will regroup and win the French Open this year if that does happen.
What a great pick, Vithun! I’m intrigued to see how both handle the occasion.