No.1 seed Ashleigh Barty became the first home player to reach the Australian Open women's final in 42 years with a 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Madison Keys in just 62 minutes.

The last Australian to make the final here was Wendy Turnbull, who was runner-up to Hana Mandlikova in 1980. Barty is bidding to become the first women's home champion since Chris O'Neil in 1978. She has spent only 6 hours and 6 minutes on court and dropped just 21 games in six matches. 

That is the fewest games lost en route to a Grand Slam title match since Serena Williams conceded 16 on the way to the 2013 US Open final and the joint-fourth lowest number this century (behind Serena's 19 at the 2012 US Open and Venus Williams' 20 at Wimbledon 2009 and the same as Serena's 21 at Roland Garros 2013).

Barty, 25, improves her major semifinal record to 3-1, with each of her finals coming at different Grand Slams. She converted both previous ones into titles at Roland Garros 2019 and Wimbledon 2021. Keys, 26, falls to 1-4 in Grand Slam semifinals, with her sole victory at this stage coming over CoCo Vandeweghe at the 2017 US Open.

Barty, who picked up her 14th career title and third on home soil in Adelaide three weeks ago, is now on a 10-match winning streak. 

By the numbers: It was a fifth near-flawless performance from Barty at Melbourne Park this fortnight. Every facet of her game was clicking. She reeled off the first 10 points on her serve, landed 61% of her first serves and won 86% of those points. She saved both break points against her, one with an ace and another with an overhead. She racked up 20 winners to 13 unforced errors.

Strategically, Barty was also in control. The World No.1 hooked her forehand crosscourt to drag Keys out wide, and a variety of slices to keep the American off-balance on the backhand side. The No.51-ranked Keys' power was blunted, and she had only eight winners to 24 unforced errors. Her own tactic of approaching the net to the Barty backhand failed to pay dividends. Keys won only four of 11 points in the forecourt.

Turning point avoided: After speeding through a 26-minute first set, Keys' best opportunity to swing the match her way came midway through the second. Barty's unforced errors count began to tick up slightly, and the former World No.7 found an excellent backhand down the line to held for 2-2 after a two-deuce tussle. In the next game, Keys made her way to break point for the second time in the match.

But Barty snuffed it out with some efficient aggression, and a drive volley sealed the hold for 3-2. Though Keys battled well to keep the deficit to one break, Barty would face no further danger on serve, and converted her first match point with a cool-headed one-two punch.

ashleigh barty
More Head to Head
80% Win 4
- Matches Played
20% Win 1
danielle collins

What's next: This fortnight, Barty has defeated three of the Americans she beat en route to winning Roland Garros 2019: Amanda Anisimova, Jessica Pegula and Keys. She will face a fourth in the final, No.27 seed Danielle Collins.

Barty leads the head-to-head against Collins 3-1, including a 7-5, 6-1 win in the second round of Roland Garros 2019. However, Collins was the last player to defeat her on home soil - a 6-3, 6-4 win in the second round of Adelaide last year.

Barty on what it means to win at home: "I do remember my first experience here at the Australian Open," she told press afterwards. "I would have only been 11 or 12 years old, and came down for a training camp in the second week of the Australian Open. To see how professional it was and to see everyone going about their business was really eye-opening. My first taste of it was in the juniors and I loved it. I think being able to get a taste of that lit the flame. You wonder what you can achieve. You wonder what you can do.

"Saturday's going to be a new experience for me. So I go out there and embrace it, smile, try and do the best that I can and whatever happens, happens. I'm really looking forward to having one last crack here to really go out there and enjoy it."

Barty on the prospect of facing Collins: "I think the way she's able to control the baseline and really take the game on, she's one of the most fierce competitors out here. She loves to get in your face and loves to really take it on. It's going to be a challenge for me to try and neutralise as best that I can, but it is certainly nice to see her back out here playing her best stuff."

Keys on how it feels to face Barty: "It's tough," she said afterwards. "It sucks. She's just playing incredibly well. I mean, you have a game plan in your head, but she's just executing everything so well. She's serving incredibly well, so you don't get any free points on that. Her slice is coming in so much lower and deeper than it was in the past, so it's hard to do anything on that. Then you try to play to her forehand and she can open you up there. I think she's playing some really, really good tennis, but she's also, it just seems so locked in and focused. I have played her a handful of times, and this is easily the best I think she's ever been playing. 

"The game plan was definitely trying to play a little bit heavier to her slice so that she couldn't pin me in that backhand corner quite as well. The tough thing, though, is that you have to have so much racquet head speed when her slice is coming in, but then you also have to balance not overhitting it. I felt like I started getting a better feel of it like in the middle of the second set, but then at that point being a set and a break down against World No.1 is kind of a difficult position to start feeling yourself.

"I wasn't really surprised by it. The tough thing is that I she kind of makes you overthink a little bit, and you start pressing a little bit, you feel like you have to do too much at times. I think I was overthinking a little bit at the beginning - trying to do things that weren't really happening for me or really actually an option, just because puts that pressure on you. Once that happens and when she starts feeling like she can play downhill, then she just gets that confidence and momentum, and it's really hard to get that back from her." 

Champion's Reel: How Ashleigh Barty won Adelaide 500 2022

2022 Adelaide 500