Queenslanders celebrate Ash Barty’s historic win at the Australian Open

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Across Australia there is a sense of jubilation, pride and joy after tennis champion Ash Barty etched a slice of history.

The Queenslander ended a 44-year drought last night – becoming the first Australian to win a singles title at the Australian Open since 1978.

This morning, a humble Barty said the enormity of her incredible victory was still sinking in for her and her support team.

“I can’t wait to get some rest and just let it all soak in because it’s been an amazing fortnight for all of us,” she said.

“I’m just going with the flow a bit right now.”

Ipswich applaud hometown hero

Big celebrations continue for the 25-year-old in her hometown of Ipswich, west of Brisbane.

Fans, families and children, holding “Go Ash!” placards, gathered to watch the world number one win the historic tennis title, while many venues in Ipswich hosted ‘Barty Party’ events.

Children hold ‘Go Ash’ signs as they watch the Australian Open match at a park event in Brisbane.(ABC News)

Staff at the Brothers League Club wore tennis-themed outfits and even served a delicious-sounding “Barty Burger.”

Sign up for the Barty Burger on the menu at Brothers Leagues Club Ipswich
The Barty Burger on the menu at Brothers Leagues Club Ipswich, west Brisbane.(Facebook: Mayor Teresa Harding, Ipswich City Council)

Punters were captured celebrating Barty’s win in a video posted to Facebook.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the region lacked the means to honor the world number one.

He once named a tennis court after him and gave him the keys to the city.

The council today launched electronic notice boards across the city with messages of congratulations – and residents now want to build a monument to honor its latest achievement.

“Again, we’ll be working with Ash’s team to make sure it’s respectful and something really great.”

Ms Harding said Barty’s success inspires the community.

“When you talk to people, there’s such pride in her,” Ms Harding said.

“The fact that she’s from our hometown and is also a great role model for us in Ipswich because she’s so down to earth and hardworking.”

“It tells people that if you work hard and focus, you can achieve your dreams,” she said.

In Brisbane, a striking mural emerged this morning as a relieved Barty, rarely overwhelmed with emotion, pumped her fist and let out a roar as she clinched the title.

Mural by Ash Barty painted with an aboriginal flag in the background.
Mural by Ash Barty at the Pure Tennis facility at Ferny Hills in Brisbane.(ABC News: Michael Lloyd )

Tennis royalty praise Barty on social media

Australian tennis legend Rod Laver has shared an incredible post-match backstage photo of Barty holding his trophy alongside fellow tennis legends – Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Judy Dalton and Chris O’Neill, the last Australian before Barty to win the 1978 Australian Open singles title.

Laver was in the stands to see Barty’s emotional triumph.

“A Grand Slam champion on three different surfaces, you are the complete player @AshBarty and I’m so happy for you tonight,” Laver posted on Twitter.

“It’s a wonderful time to be here for this moment and to celebrate with Australia.”

Newly crowned Aussie of the Year and tennis legend Dylan Alcott joked on Twitter: “Too late to share Aussie of the Year!?!?”

Outpouring of emotion from the indigenous community

Barty’s victory is important for First Nations people.

A proud Ngarigo woman, she is the second First Nations woman to win the Australian Open.

The 25-year-old said she was touched by the outpouring of support and joy from across the country, including the pride and celebration of Indigenous communities.

A photo for the ages has been shared online – new Australian Open champion Ash Barty, alongside Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Cathy Freeman.

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This followed the heartwarming moment at last night’s trophy presentation when Barty was surprised by the appearance of her idol, mentor and close friend Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

The show cut Olympic legend Cathy Freeman who was recording the historic moment on her phone.

The tennis champion said sharing victory with legendary Aboriginal athletes Goolagong Cawley and Cathy Freeman was a special experience and was the “beautiful moment” of the evening.

“I’m definitely not on their level, Cathy and Evonne are exceptional people, exceptional athletes, and they paved the way for so many of us,” Barty said.

“I’m still in the category of trying to follow in their footsteps and do the best I can, but to be a very small part of an incredible legacy they’ve created is really cool.

“For our legacy, they are two absolute superstars.”

This special achievement has sparked a wave of emotion on social media from Australia’s indigenous community.

The ABC’s Indigenous Affairs Editor and wife Dja Dja Wurrang and Yorta Yorta, Bridget Brennan, tweeted: “She got it. For her people! Black excellence.”

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And a cheeky, ironic comment from Wemba Wemba, Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti and Jedda Costa, journalist for Barapa Barapa ABC: “Okay, who is starting a petition to call it the Indigenous Open”?

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Inspire the next generation

The young tennis players celebrated the victory of their idol this morning at the Queensland Tennis Center in Brisbane.

Alexis Berndt, 10, said Barty was her inspiration. “I love that she’s so mentally tough,” she said. “She can always come back.

Emily Reed, 11, said Barty gave her hope that she could achieve her dreams.

“It gives me a lot more confidence that I can be like her,” she said. “She’s really kind and caring and shows great sportsmanship.”

Harry Ruddell, 11, agreed: “If Ash can do it, certainly anybody else can.”

Tennis Queensland chief executive Elia Hill said Barty was an ambassador for the sport. She said tennis had exploded in popularity thanks to her success.

“Last year…we had 1.5 million more people playing our sport through the ages.”

“[It was] the fastest growing sport in our age brackets…and I’m sure Ash has a lot to do with that and more, moving forward,” she said.

Tennis courts across the country are set to open and offer 10,000 free court rental hours over the next month to fuel the current surge in attendance and capitalize on the excitement of Barty’s win.

“There’s simply no better way to celebrate the success of our Australian players than by giving free access to tennis to as many people as possible, across the country,” said Tom Larner, Chief Tennis Officer. of Tennis Australia.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Barty on her stunning victory.

“She’s definitely a Queensland legend and she’s such a great role model.”

“Hopefully we’ll have a big Barty party when she gets home.”

“She’s going to have the keys to Ipswich, the keys to Brisbane, she’s going to have the keys to Queensland.”

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