The country was left in tears on Saturday night as Ash Barty celebrated her Australian Open triumph with some of the people who got her where she is today.
The World No.1 completed a dream fortnight at Melbourne Park with a steely 6-3 7-6 (7-2) victory over Danielle Collins in the most-anticipated women's Open final in almost half a century.
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Her victory made her the first Australian to win their home grand slam in 44 years after Chris O'Neil back in 1978.
Barty let out a massive roar of relief and delight after sealing the victory, before sharing a beautiful on-court moment with former doubles partner and close friend Casey Dellacqua.
Dellacqua was commentating courtside for Channel Nine during the match, before Barty beckoned her onto the court just seconds after the final point.
The pair shared a beautiful embrace as Barty planted a kiss on Dellacqua's forehead, much to the delight of spectators at Rod Laver Arena and fans watching at home.
“She knows how proud I am of her. Everybody thinks I have done a lot but I cannot explain what Ash has done for me,” Dellacqua told Channel Nine after the match.
“We are so lucky and blessed to have each other. I do not take that for granted for one minute and I am so proud of her.”
Barty added: “She is a bloody legend. And she is a great friend and I’m so grateful and lucky to have her.
"There would not be any other person that I want sitting literally direct across from me.
“When I was on the court, I was trying not to look at Casey. Looking around, trying to look everywhere but Casey, but knowing that if I needed anything, not even that there is anything, to give other than the support and being there because Casey, she changed my life.
“She brought me into the sport again. And allowed me to explore, to grow as a person, and I love her.”
Barty and Dellacqua first played doubles together back in 2012 when Barty was just 15 years old.
Dellacqua served as a mentor as Barty made her way in the sport and helped convince her to come back to tennis after she took a short hiatus in 2015.
They made three grand slam doubles finals without success before Barty snared her first major singles title at the French Open in 2019.
Goolagong Cawley's post-match surprise for Ash Barty
There were also lovely scenes when Evonne Goolagong Cawley surprised Barty to present the trophy during the post-match ceremony.
Another mentor of Barty's, Goolagong Cawley said she wouldn't be able to make it to Melbourne this year for the grand slam, but shocked everyone with her appearance on Saturday night.
"Hell of a surprise," Barty said of the seven-time grand slam singles champion role in the ceremony.
"To be honest, I'm really glad that I didn't know because I think I would have been under the pump, I would've been feeling it.
"I haven't seen her since this time last year so we've got a few more hugs to celebrate. Unbelievable to see her."
Olympic legend Cathy Freeman was also caught on television grabbing her mobile phone to capture Barty's crowning moment.
"Looking up at the end, seeing Cathy, she is an inspiration. She's been an inspiration to so many people all around the globe," Barty said.
"But for our heritage, for our family, she is just the best.
"To be able to share that tonight with Evonne Goolagong and Cathy, a night I will never forget."
Oh man, that moment between Ash Barty and Casey Dellacqua 🥺❤️
— Nikhila (@kokudum) January 29, 2022
Ash Barty goes straight over to Casey Dellacqua on the sidelines + gives her a hug + a kiss on the forehead after winning the #AusOpen . A lovely moment. Their doubles combo played such a pivotal role in Ash getting here ❤️. What a champion in every way.
— Bridget Lacy (@Lacytalks) January 29, 2022
Pointing out Casey Dellacqua and hug her on court as the first thing to do after matchpoint ist the bartyst thing to do.
Dellacqua plays a huge role in her career. Doubles, breaks, mental health. Amazing. Asleigh Barty: First female Australian to win #AusOpen since 1978
— Jannik Schneider (@schnejan) January 29, 2022
A huge hug and a kiss on the forehand for Casey Dellacqua, Barty's first pro doubles partner, the woman who played such a huge role in her journey into (and out of, and back into) this sport.
Cheers Case. pic.twitter.com/FwQhv1j2Tp
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 29, 2022
— Danielle Warby (@DanielleWarby) January 29, 2022
crying at the footage of Cathy Freeman hustling to get photos of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who's about to present the trophy to Ash Barty. three extraordinary First Nations women who have redefined international sport. what an amazing moment this is. #AusOpen
— Samantha Lewis (@battledinosaur) January 29, 2022
Oooh the tears were close when Evonne Goolagong walked out on to Rod Laver Arena to present Ash Barty with the Australian Open trophy! What a tournament from the world No1, thoroughly deserved. And she's pretty darn cool, isn't she?! #AusOpen
— Joshua Jones (@_joshuajones) January 29, 2022
When you think you can’t love Ash Barty any more.. then realise you absolutely can. And Evonne Goolagong Cawley - just wonderful. What a special night in Australian sport. Remember this moment.
— Nina Stevens (@NinaBStevens) January 29, 2022
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