Reigning Australian Open champion and retired No.1 Ashleigh Barty was on hand at Melbourne Park to deliver the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy to Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open women's final. 

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The 26-year-old Queenslander, who announced her sudden retirement last April, received a rousing ovation from the crowd as she strolled on court with the trophy she captured in inspired fashion 12 months ago. 

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Last year, Barty captured her third and final major title by defeating Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6 in the final to become Australia's first homegrown champion in 44 years. With seven of the members of the Original 9 and her friend and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley watching from the stands, Barty flashed a wide grin and trademark wave to the crowd before making way for the night's combatants, No.5 Aryna Sabalenka and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.