Ashleigh Barty news: World No 1 ends 42-year wait for an Australian woman to reach Melbourne final

Ashleigh Barty waves to the crowd

There appears to be no stopping Ashleigh Barty at the 2022 Australian Open as the world No 1 dispatched Madison Keys to become the first Australian woman to reach the final at Melbourne Park in 42 years.

Barty had dropped only 17 games en route to reaching the semi-final and by the end of the match that tally only went up by four as she brushed aside the American 6-1, 6-3 in just 62 minutes.

The 25-year-old has been the clear favourite from the start to win the hard-court Grand Slam and there was no reason to change that view after the last-four clash.

The opening set took just 26 minutes to complete as Barty raced out of the blocks to break in the first game of the match, and again in games five and seven against a nervous Keys.

The American managed to find a bit of a rhythm in the second set as it stayed on serve until the fifth game before Barty converted on a third break point in game six.

With the result she became the first Australian to reach the women’s final since Wendy Turnbull finished runner-up in 1980 while she will have a chance on Saturday to become the first home winner since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

“It’s just incredible,” the 25-year-old said after the match.

“I love this tournament and I love coming out here and playing in Australia. As an Aussie, we’re exceptionally spoiled that we get to be a Grand Slam nation and we get to play at home, in our own backyard.

“I’m just happy that I get to play my best tennis here. I enjoy it, I’ve done well before and now we have a chance to play for a title. It’s unreal!”

The reigning Wimbledon champion will face either Iga Swiatek from Poland or American Danielle Collins in the final.