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Barty wins drought-breaking Australian Open women's title

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.

Ash Barty of Australia celebrates after defeating Danielle Collins of the U.S., in the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (AP PhotoAndy Brownbill)

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.

Ash Barty, right, of Australia is congratulated by Danielle Collins of the U.S., after winning the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (AP PhotoAndy Brownbill)

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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Danielle Collins of the U.S. celebrates wining point over Ash Barty of Australia during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. (AP PhotoTertius Pickard)

Danielle Collins of the U.S. plays a forehand return to Ash Barty of Australia during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. (AP PhotoSimon Baker)

Danielle Collins, right, of the U.S. talks to chair umpire Marijana Veljovic during the women's singles final against Ash Barty of Australia at the Australian Open tennis championships in Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (AP PhotoHamish Blair)

Danielle Collins of the U.S. celebrates after winning a point against Ash Barty of Australia during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (AP PhotoAndy Brownbill)

Ash Barty of Australia plays a backhand return to Danielle Collins of the U.S., during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (AP PhotoHamish Blair)