Australia has got what it wanted, so far. A massive Barty Party is about to break out, there’s only one more match go, but there’s a flat hitting American looking to crash this thing, even though the decorations are already up.
Do not count out Danielle Collins, Barty might lead the head to head 3-1, but the way the 28 year old from Florida absolutely demolished former French Open Champion Iga Swiatek in the semis this will not be destiny driven.
Why Barty will win
Barty is red hot, she’s hasn’t looked like losing a set, that alone is quite a feat over six matches at a Slam against high level opponents in Giorgi, Anisimova and Keys.
To beat a flat hitter you need variety and the good news for Ash is, she can mix up her shots better than anyone on the women’s tour.
The biggest key for her is first serve, she must get a high percentage in, otherwise Collins with vaporize her second, just as she did with Swiatek. If Barty does that and keeps her level from her previous six matches she’ll win.
Why Collins will win
Why not should be the question? It’s easy to say she has nothing to lose, but really what pressure does she have, it’s all on Ash. Barty is chasing history vying to become first Australian since Chris O’Neill way back in 1978 to win the women’s singles. Collins is the 27th seed who absolutely nobody expected to make this far. She’ll walk away with $1.5 million no matter what.
The good news/bad news part of this is that she’s streaky. Big serve, bigger groundstrokes, she can hit five games worth of winners or five games of errors.
The longer she keeps that streak alive, the more chance she has to win. She’ll also relish playing the villain. Don’t bite those nails too hard if this gets close. An underdog playing with house money is as dangerous as it gets.
Destiny can be a royal pain in the arse. Lendl was never destined to win Wimbledon, neither was the great Ken Rosewall, yet they won multiple other Slams. Boris or Sampras couldn’t win the French yet they won everything else.
These slam finals don’t come along that often, especially at home, so many things can go wrong, bad draw, bad food, rain delays, out of form, niggling injury, I could go on, but these two weeks everything has gone right for Barty.
Short matches and she avoided potential land mines in Osaka, Halep or even Sabalenka, but Collins will be her most dangerous opponent, or could turn out to be her easiest.
Barty’s mantra for this final should be ‘serve and nerve’, if she consistently holds serve and consistently keeps her nerve she’ll win. The slices, the sneaks to the net, the power forehand will get her through.
It could go two sets or three, I wouldn’t be surprised if Collins runs hot for a set, but Ash Barty will win this and become the first Australian to win the women’s singles in 44 years. This party will rage on.