Australian Open 2022: Ash Barty | Madison Keys, Danielle Collins

The serving game of Ash Barty has dazzled at Melbourne Park on the top seed’s rise to her maiden Australian Open final.

And when asked about the quality of her serves after defeating American Madison Keys to advance to the decider, the confidence of the Australian superstar shone through.

“I know I can just throw it up and really trust it,” Barty told reporters after her 6-1 6-3 semi-final triumph over Keys.

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But Barty’s exceptional serving has drawn little attention during the Australian Open, especially in comparison to her superb backhand slice.

Barty tallied five aces and won 86 per cent of points on first serves in the win against Keys.

Across the six matches Barty has played in this year’s Melbourne Park major, the two-time singles grand slam champion has registered 35 aces (second-most) and won an unmatched 83 per cent of points on first serves.

“I just feel really clear on my service games. I have a lot of trust in my game, have a lot of trust in my serve,” Barty said.

“Even (in the semi-final) I feel like I gave Maddie a lot of looks at second serves. I didn’t quite have my rhythm on the first serve, but when I needed it most it was there. I know I can just throw it up and really trust it, go after my spots and try and get free points and back myself in.

“If I don’t I can back my legs in and run and kind of build pressure without that facet of my game.”

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Barty’s serving has proven mightily effective despite her lack of power.

Her fastest serve of the tournament doesn’t rank in the top 20, while Naomi Osaka, Aryna Sabalenka, Hailey Baptiste and many other rivals have significant advantages in weight and height.

Barty has become the first local woman to reach an Australian Open singles final since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.

The Queenslander won Roland-Garros in 2019 and Wimbledon last year, and there’s now just one American woman standing between her and Australian Open glory.

That’s seed 27 Danielle Collins, who’ll clash with Barty at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night.

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