World No. 1 Ash Barty has advanced to her maiden Australian Open final with a 6-1, 6-3 demolition of American Madison Keys on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday evening.
It’s a historic win for Barty, who has become the first Australian to advance to the women’s singles final since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.
“To be in the finals weekend of your home Grand Slam is what a lot of Aussie players dream of. Yeah, it's going to be an incredible experience come Saturday. I can't wait to go out there and enjoy it,” Barty said in her post-match press conference.
Barty will now face No. 27 seed Danielle Collins of America in the final.
“Danielle has done incredibly well here in Australia before. I mean, we have played in Adelaide a couple of times. We have played on clay before. I think the way she's able to control the baseline and really take the game on she's one of the most fierce competitors out here. She loves to get in your face and loves to really take it on,” Barty said.
“If we happen to match up on Saturday, it's going to be no different. It's going to be a challenge for me to try and neutralize as best that I can, but it is certainly nice to see her back out here playing her best stuff.”
Despite being through to the final for the first time in her career, Barty doesn’t plan on changing her preparation for the match and plans to treat it like any other.
“Same old. I'm a creature of habit. Not a lot will change for us. The preparation stays the same, process is the same,“ Barty explained.
“I'm able to switch off when I'm not here on-site and that makes the time when we are on-site more enjoyable, more special, and then we switch on and get ready to go.”
The women’s final will be played on Saturday evening at Melbourne Park.