Pat Rafter reveals Ash Barty and his Australian Open opponent Danielle ‘Danimal’ Collins had a secret feud during the grand slam final: ‘There was no love lost’
- Both Ash Barty and Danielle Collins are desperate to win the Australian Open
- Animosity is growing on court, Aussie tennis legend Pat Rafter has revealed
- Barty eventually won in straight sets, much to the delight of the Melbourne crowd
Australian tennis great Pat Rafter has lifted the lid on a secret feud between Ash Barty and Danielle Collins.
The pair battled it out in the Australian Open final in January – and two-time grand slam winner Rafter declared there was no ‘love lost’ on court at Melbourne Park.
‘I know with him (Barty) and Danielle, they’ve got a bit of … what’s the word – no love lost anyway,’ Rafter said.
‘Danielle is quite feisty. And Ash doesn’t want to lose to him.’
After Barty easily won the first set, Collins – nicknamed the ‘Danimal’ on the WTA Tour for her aggressiveness – stormed back in the second set to take a 5-1 lead.
Australian tennis great Pat Rafter revealed a secret feud between Ash Barty and Danielle Collins earlier this year
Barty and Collins clashed in the Australian Open final in January – and two-time grand slam winner Pat Rafter declared there was no ‘love lost’ on court at Melbourne Park
Barty did not drop a set all tournament and the momentum looked to be shifting in the women’s singles final.
Spurred on by the rowdy crowd in the house, Barty composed himself and forced the tiebreak.
A short while later the world number one became the first Australian since Chris O’Neil in 1978 to win his home grand slam.
He then shocked the tennis world in March by announcing his retirement from the sport, citing a lack of drive.
Barty also won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon last year.
Danielle Collins has been nicknamed ‘Danimal’ for her aggressiveness – and is said to be disgusted by the raucous support for local favorite 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 his decision – but praised Barty’s decision.
‘If you don’t have the drive, you can’t play and Ash was a bit lost on that and he said it’s time for him (to retire) and you have 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 last July.