'Absolute legend': Fans erupt over Ash Barty moment on live TV
Aussie tennis fans were in a partying mood after Ash Barty took out the Australian Open final on Saturday night, and the world No.1 was only too happy to kick things off after her historic victory.
Barty became the first Australian player to win their home grand slam since 1978 when she defeated American challenger Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6, hoisting her third grand slam trophy.
NO WAY: 'Crazy' detail emerges in Ash Barty triumphs three years apart
CLASS: Ash Barty's perfect response to Serena Williams question
Not since Chris O'Neil in 1978 has an Australian won the Melbourne Park grand slam, prompting wild scenes outside Rod Laver Arena after Barty completed her thrilling second set comeback.
After comfortably winning the first set, Barty was forced onto the back foot by Collins, who broke her serve twice to lead 5-1 at one point.
The match appeared set to go to a third set, before a determined Barty willed her way back into the game, breaking Collins' serve twice in a row to force a tiebreak, which she won handily.
After the match, the Barty party proceeded to Channel 9's broadcast desk outside Rod Laver Arena, where enamoured fans cheered the 25-year-old as she was handed a celebratory beer.
As she joked that she didn't want to drink alone, insisting that the rest of the hosting panel join her, fans on social media were loving what they were seeing from the home hero.
Aus Open champ? We'll drink to that Ash! 🍻#AusOpen - live on Channel 9 and 9Now. Ad-Free Live & On Demand on Stan Sport pic.twitter.com/opjazzqQuw
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 29, 2022
Ash Barty with a celebratory Corona: “I’m not gonna drink alone!”
Doubt she’ll ever have to pay for a beer in a pub again. pic.twitter.com/dtCaxxoBLT
— Laurie Horesh (@LaurieHoresh) January 29, 2022
Ash Barty celebrates with a beer on live Aussie TV #AusOpen #BartyParty pic.twitter.com/q4SqJcxuQt
— Neil McLeman (@NeilMcLeman) January 29, 2022
I’d love to have a beer with #Barty
I’d love to have a beer with Ash.
I’d pay for all the frothies,
Even though she’s got more cash.
We’d drink in the town and country,
Where the atmosphere is great.
I’d love to have a beer with Barty,
If Barty was me mate.#AusOpen #AshBarty
— Michael Atkinson (@kinson88) January 29, 2022
Drinking beer on national television ash Barty you absolute legend
— bernie (@bernadettem02) January 29, 2022
Barty was praised for her classy speech after winning the final, thanking those who had supported her long and winding path to the top of world tennis.
“Wow. I have said numerous times that I am so lucky tonight to have so many people here that love me, support me,” she said.
“Pretty bloody special that mum and dad and my sisters are here and I’m so happy they could be here today.”
How Ash Barty avoided major Australian Open threat
Barty has revealed the "hermit life" she endured thi summer to avoid her biggest Australian Open threat - COVID-19.
Contracting the coronavirus during the Open, or in the week before the Melbourne Park grand slam, would have been catastrophic for Australia's big hope.
Hence why, after compatriots Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic went down with the virus in the Open lead-up, Barty bunkered down in Melbourne with her golfer-fiance Garry Kissick and mother Josie.
As she rolled through the draw without dropping a set, match after match all the way to the final, the world No.1 was ever aware that COVID could prematurely end her campaign.
Frenchman Ugo Humbert and Belgian Alison Uytvanck both tested positive during the tournament and, in reality, the prospect of getting infected was more of a threat to Barty than any of her on-court rivals.
"We were pretty careful. I was staying with Gary and my mum and we were pretty much in lockdown," Barty said as she wound down with a celebratory beer on Saturday night.
"We didn't leave. We would just go in the morning and get a takeaway coffee. We didn't go to any restaurants, didn't go out anywhere.
"So it has been two weeks of hermit life. I don't have a problem with it. It was a pretty quiet two weeks just to eliminate the risk."
Asked how conscious she was of COVID-19 potentially cruelling her Open dream, Barty said: "We were just careful, didn't want to add any risk unnecessarily - it would have made the paper, I reckon (if I got it).
"We were all very mindful from the start, even all of our extended team.
"We just tried to do the right thing like we'd done the last 18 months, two years - just not be silly with it and just not add any extra unnecessary risk for a couple of weeks.
"We can enjoy this and now we can do what we want."
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.