Ipswich’s Ash Barty ends 44-year Australian Open drought

29 January 2022

Homegrown hero Ash Barty claimed her third major international title on Saturday night after defeating America’s Danielle Collins.

It’s the first time since 1978, an Australian has won the Australian Open Women’s Singles.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the world has seen only a slice of the incredible calibre of talent emerging from the sports-mad city of Ipswich.

“We are so proud that a humble girl from Ipswich has gone on to dominate the very peak of international tennis both overseas and now on home soil, and we are behind her every step of the way,” Mayor Harding said.

“Council is already exploring ways we can honour Ash’s amazing achievements. We’ve received so many wonderful suggestions from the Ipswich community.

“We’ve already named a tennis court after Ash, and given her the Keys to the City. Clearly, we’ll need to think bigger if we want to keep up with Ash’s achievements.

“Ultimately, whatever Council and the community come up with, we will need to see what Ash feels comfortable with once she’s back home in Ipswich.

“For now, it’s time to celebrate!”

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said Ash Barty has become a role model for her local community.

“Ash first picked up a tennis racket at the age of four, and this weekend she has claimed yet another major international title,” Cr Fechner said.

“She embodies what you can achieve with passion, commitment, hard work and a whole lot of the Ipswich spirit.

“I hope that our community looks up to this fine athlete and that she inspires the next generation of world-beaters to join a local club, get into sport and get active.

“Council’s Active Ipswich Strategy provides plenty of opportunities for people to access and participate in a wide range of sport, recreation and nature-based activity.”

Barty won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021.

Ash Barty grew up in Springfield, Ipswich, and began her professional career at the 2010 City of Ipswich Tennis International at the George Alder Tennis Centre in Leichhardt.

Now World Number 1, 25-year-old Barty is the first Australian to win the Australian Open in 44 years - last won by Chris O’Neil in 1978.