Pat Rafter reveals Ash Barty and her Australian Open opponent Danielle ‘Danimal’ Collins had a secret feud during grand slam final: ‘There was no love lost’
- Ash Barty and Danielle Collins both were desperate to win the Australian Open
- On-court ill-feeling was intensifying, Aussie tennis legend Pat Rafter revealed
- Barty eventually won in straight sets, much to the delight of Melbourne crowd
Australian tennis great Pat Rafter has lifted the lid on a secret feud between Ash Barty and Danielle Collins.
The pair contested the Australian Open final in January – and two-time grand slam winner Rafter revealed there was ‘no love lost’ on court at Melbourne Park.
‘I knew with her (Barty) and Danielle, they had a bit of a …what’s the word – there was no love lost anyway,’ Rafter said.
‘Danielle’s pretty feisty. And Ash didn’t want to lose to her.’
After Barty won the first set easily, Collins – nicknamed ‘Danimal’ on the WTA Tour due to her highly aggressive nature – stormed back in the second set to take a 5-1 lead.
Australian tennis great Pat Rafter has revealed a secret feud between Ash Barty and Danielle Collins earlier this year
Barty and Collins contested the Australian Open final in January – and two-time grand slam winner Pat Rafter revealed there was ‘no love lost’ on court at Melbourne Park
Barty hadn’t dropped a set all tournament and momentum looked to be shifting in the women’s singles final.
Spurred on by the boisterous home crowd, Barty composed herself and forced a tiebreak.
Moments later the world number one became the first Australian since Chris O’Neil in 1978 to win her home grand slam.
She then shocked the tennis world in March by announcing her retirement from the sport, citing a lack of drive.
Barty also won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon last year.
Danielle Collins is nicknamed ‘Danimal’ due to her aggressive nature – and she was said to be annoyed at the raucous support for local favourite Ash Barty at Melbourne Park
Ash Barty married her long-term boyfriend Garry Kissick in July, just months after retiring from tennis
Like many tennis fans, Rafter hoped the fellow Queenslander would reverse her decision – but lauded Barty’s decision.
‘If you don’t have the drive, you can’t play and Ash had lost a bit of that and she said it was time for her (to retire) and you’ve got to respect that,’ he said.
‘We all secretly hope she will come back, but the pressure and expectation and all the things that go along with it…it’s not easy.’
Barty married her long time boyfriend Garry Kissick in July.