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Australian Open Lookahead: Can Barty end 44-year drought?

January 28, 2022 GMT
Ash Barty of Australia reacts after defeating Madison Keys of the U.S. in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
Ash Barty of Australia reacts after defeating Madison Keys of the U.S. in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
Ash Barty of Australia reacts after defeating Madison Keys of the U.S. in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
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Ash Barty of Australia reacts after defeating Madison Keys of the U.S. in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
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Ash Barty of Australia reacts after defeating Madison Keys of the U.S. in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — LOOKAHEAD TO SATURDAY

Ash Barty finally has a chance to end the hype — and end a 44-year singles title drought for Australian women at their home Grand Slam. The top-ranked Barty is on a 10-match winning streak and plays American Danielle Collins in the final. Barty has dropped just one service game in the entire tournament. Collins is 1-3 in four matches against Barty but her win came last year in Adelaide, Australia. Collins advanced to her first Grand Slam final with a 6-4, 6-1 win over 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek. The 28-year-old Collins had endometriosis and last April underwent surgery, affecting most of her season. She’s now just one win away from achieving her childhood dream of becoming a Grand Slam champion. The all-Australian men’s doubles final is also set for Saturday, when Matt Ebden and Max Purcell will take on the so-called Special Ks — Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

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FORECAST FOR SATURDAY

Possible rain showers, high of 23 Celsius (73 Fahrenheit).

FRIDAY’S WEATHER

Late rain after a high of 33 Celsius (91 Fahrenheit)

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Men’s Singles Semifinals: No. 2 Daniil Medvedev beat No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; No. 6 Rafael Nadal beat No. 7 Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Mixed Doubles Final: No. 5 Ivan Dodig and Kristina Mladenovic beat Jason Kubler and Jaimee Fourlis 6-3, 6-4.

STAT OF THE DAY:

500 — Nadal’s career tally of tour-level match wins on hard courts.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Again, I’m going to play somebody going for the 21st Slam.” — Medvedev after advancing to a final against Rafael Nadal, who is chasing a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title. Medvedev beat Novak Djokovic in last year’s U.S. Open final to prevent the Serbian star setting the record.

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