On Saturday, Jan. 29, Ashleigh Barty won the 2022 Australian Open women's singles final against American Danielle Collins. According to "The New York Times," Barty, 25, is the first player from Australia to claim an Australian Open singles title since 1978. ESPN reports that she is now one of the only active players to win Grand Slams on all three court surfaces (grass, clay, and hard courts). The others include Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. This is Barty's third Grand Slam singles title.
"I think as an Aussie, the most important part of this tournament is being able to share it with so many people, and you guys today in the crowd have been nothing shy of exceptional," Barty says in a speech after her win. She adds, "This is just a dream come true for me, and I'm so proud to be an Aussie."
One day later, on Jan. 30, Nadal made history when his victory over Russia's Daniil Medvedev broke the tie he had with Djokovic and Federer for the most men's singles Grand Slam titles (20). The 35-year-old Spanish tennis player now has 21 major singles wins in the men's game — a new record.
In his post-match speech, Nadal says this Australian Open final was one of the most emotional matches of his career. "Being honest, one month and a half ago I didn't know if I will be able to be back on the tour playing tennis again, and today I am here in front of all of you having this trophy with me, and you really don't know how much I [fought] to be here. . . ." Nadal did not compete in last year's Wimbledon, Olympic Games, or US Open to give his body recovery time from a flareup of Müller-Weiss disease that causes chronic foot pain. He also had COVID in December.
Ahead, check out emotional photos from both Barty and Nadal's victories on the Australian Open court over the weekend.