The last of the 4 Grand Slams to host the Women's Singles Championships was the Australian Open. It did so in 1922, almost three decades after the other Grand Slams did so. The winner of the Australian Open Women's Singles Trophy takes home a replica of the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy named in honor of the great former champion who won the title 5 times.
Australian tennis great Margaret Court has won the trophy a record 11 times and American Serena Williams has won lifted the trophy 7 times till date. Serena Williams has most remarkably won the title on 4 occasions without dropping a single set.
Athletes from 13 different countries have lifted the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. Our focus is on 5 of the greatest Women's Singles finals played at the Australian Open in the Open Era :
#5 Margaret Court vs Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1971)
9-time Champion Margaret Court Smith was defending her title at the Australian Open of 1971 and was looking to become the first woman in history to win 10 Grand Slam titles in a single Grand Slam competition. Her main challenger was compatriot Evonne Goolagong Cawley who was 9 years her junior. The pair were seeded one and two respectively.
It was fitting that they would meet in the final. The final was an all-time classic. Goolagong Cawley took the first set and looked to win the match of her life against the 9-time champion. Margaret Court who was close to 30 drew all her experience against her younger opponent and pegged back by levelling the match by taking the second set in a tie-break. Court saved break points in the second set as Goolagong failed to make use of the opportunity. The third set was extremely close and all Court needed was a single break of serve to win her 10th Australian Open title. The scoreline read 2–6, 7–6(7–0), 7–5 in Court's favor.