In the space of 10 hours, Ash Barty, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Hannah Green have cemented their place in sporting history, smashing records and proving that girls do, indeed, run the world.
It’s been a very busy weekend for the new sports queens, with Barty and Fitzgibbons crowned World No. 1’s on the tennis court and the surf, respectively; and Green taking out her first major on Monday morning, winning the women’s PGA Championship. What a time to be a woman in sport.
Their victories come after the Matildas’ brutal knock-out from the World Cup, losing to Norway in a 4-1 penalty shootout. It’s the first time we’ve missed out on a spot in the final eight since 2003. And though I’m gutted for them, could you imagine the pandemonium if we had four huge sporting achievements? It’d be an America’s Cup all over again – but, like, times ten.
Here’s how the Aussie world domination went down.
First, Sally Fitzgibbons became the World Surf League’s No. 1
On Sunday night, Fitzgibbons wiped out former world champ Carissa Moore to win the Rio Pro in Brazil. In the nail-biting final, Fitzgibbons’ clean rides scored 14.68 to Moore’s 12.57, taking her all the way to the top of the WSL rankings.
This victory is Fitzgibbons’ first since winning the 2017 Margaret River Pro. She’s had three other podium finishes this year and this result gives her the yellow jersey at the halfway point of the season, claiming the No. 1 ranking from reigning world champ (and fellow Aussie) Stephanie Gilmore.
After her victory, Fitzgibbons said it’s “pretty cool to be standing here” and that “it feels pretty delightful”.
“Just coming in and receiving that welcome back to the beach, that was insane, and some of my mates cheering me up the beach and a big hug from my dad.
‘‘And I know my mum’s watching out there with all my family and friends, and just the team that had my back, so it’s all part of the process and they’ve all chipped in and it’s pretty cool to be standing here.’’
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Literally an hour later, Ash Barty made history
The Barty Party continued when our favourite humble tennis queen clinched the Birmingham Classic. Facing off to her German doubles partner and good mate Julia Goerges, Barty dug in to win 6-3 7-5 and secure the world No. 1 rank and the top-seeding status for Wimbledon. All in a day’s work, right?
It’s crazy to think that she’s only been back on the court for three years after spending time away for her personal and mental wellbeing, then embarking on a cricket career, and now she’s overtaken Japanese powerhouse Naomi Osaka. Talk about getting shit done.
Ash has made history, joining her mentor, Indigenous idol, and seven-time grand slam champ Evonne Goolagong Cawley as the second Australian to top the Women’s Tennis Association rankings since 1976. She also joins John Newcombe, Pat Rafter, and Lleyton Hewitt in an elite club of Aussie tennis players who have reached the top.
Humble as always, Barty says that the whirlwind year she’s had is a testament to her team, and she’s just chuffed to “follow in the steps of Evonne, even to be mentioned in the same sentence as her, is incredible.”
👑 WORLD. NUMBER. ONE. 👑
Put your hands together for your new queen, Ash Barty 🙇♀️🙇♂️👏 pic.twitter.com/ul8KCirUjG
— FOX SPORTS Australia (@FOXSportsAUS) June 23, 2019
“I’m nowhere near her status,” Barty said.
“Evonne, she’s an amazing human being and has set the tone for so many Australians and so many indigenous Australians around our country and around the world.”
So have you, Ash. You’re the tennis queen we’ve been waiting for. ❤️
The next morning, Hannah Green wins her first LPGA major
Green held off her opponents to claim the 2019 Women’s PGA Championship in a wire-to-wire finish. She led the tournament all the way to the final shot, defeating defending champ Park Sung-hyun of South Korea by one shot (-9 to -8), the first wire-to-wire win of this major since 2011.
After only two full years on the LPGA tour, this victory is Green’s first major and makes her the first Aussie woman to win a major since Karrie Webb in 2006. the 22 year-old Perth woman joins Yani Tseng (2011), Judy Kimball (1962), and Mickey Wright (1958 and 1961) as a wire-to-wire winner of the PGA.
“It’s awesome,” Green said.
“I’ve always wanted to win in front of an Aussie crowd, but I felt like even though I’m not in Australia that was what it was like today.
“Even just to be winning a major as my first event, I’m just so over the moon.”
First LPGA Tour Win ✅
First Major Title ✅
Hannah Green wins the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship!
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 23, 2019
The future of women’s sport in Australia is looking pretty bright. And honestly, there’s no better time to get on board than right now.
Image Sources: @sally_fitz,@FOXSPORTS, @LPGA