The world No.1’s night went from perfect to surreal when her hero and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley was brought out as a surprise guest to present her with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. The Australian tennis icon had been expected to miss the final and Barty was cleary surprised as she walked in for the presentation.
“I have a little surprise,” former Australian tennis star Todd Woodbridge said during the awards ceremony.
AS IT HAPPENED: Barty clinches glory in Australian Open decider
“We have a special guest to present the trophy… would you please welcome 13-time Grand Slam champion, four-time winner here at the Australian Open – she is a legend of the game.
“Put your hands together for Evonne Goolagong Cawley.”
Barty has been a national hero ever since winning Wimbledon last year, adding to her first Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2019, but her status might have reached another level tonight, with the entire country joining the Barty party.
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