Ash Barty win the Australian Open final 6-3, 7-6 (2) over Danielle Collins, ending a 44-year drought for Australian women at their home Grand Slam tournament.

Barty became the first Australian to win the event since Chris O'Neil captured the women's title in 1978.
Barty became the first Australian to win the event since Chris O'Neil captured the women's title in 1978. (AP)

Ash Barty has ended Australia's 44-year wait for a home winner at the Australian Open when the world number one staved off a fightback from American Danielle Collins to complete a 6-3 7-6(2) win and pick up her third Grand Slam title.

The top-ranked Barty won the first set with one service break against the 27th-seeded Collins.

But the 28-year-old American hit back quickly, breaking Barty's serve in the second and sixth games to take a 5-1 lead. 

Barty had only dropped one service game through six previous rounds in the tournament.

Momentum was with Collins and she twice served for the set, aiming to take her first Grand Slam final to a third set.

But Barty launched a comeback, winning five of the next six games and then dominating the tiebreaker.

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'A chess player'

Barty became the first Australian to win the event since Chris O'Neil captured the women's title in 1978.

O'Neil was present in the stands cheering as the crowd on the flooodlit Rod Laver Arena erupted when Barty converted her first match point with a forehand crosscourt winner.

"I'm probably her (Barty's) biggest fan. I'd be happy to hand it over to her because she's so deserving of it," O'Neill told reporters before the match.

"She is an absolute thinker, she's a craftsperson, a bit like a chess player with how she constructs the points."

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies