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Sport: Barty's emotional tribute to Aussie tennis icon

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Australian superstar Ash Barty paid a heartwarming tribute to tennis icon Evonne Goolagong Cawley following a second-round victory at the Australian Open.

Barty cruised past Lucia Bronzetti 6-1 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena to qualify for the third round of her home slam.

Following the easy win, she spoke to retired Australian tennis star Casey Dellacqua on court.

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Dellacqua asked about Barty's relationship with Goolagong Cawley, who is unable to attend the Open this year.

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Ashleigh Barty (R) and Evonne Goolagong Cawley arrive at the 2019 Newcombe Medal at Crown Palladium © Getty Ashleigh Barty (R) and Evonne Goolagong Cawley arrive at the 2019 Newcombe Medal at Crown Palladium

Barty has spoken at length previously about how she idolises Goolagong Cawley - a fellow proud Aboriginal woman - and also paid tribute after her breakthrough win at Wimbledon last year.


Gallery: How these fearless women athletes made it to the top (Espresso)

Swin Cash holding a basketball: Three-time WNBA champion Swin Cash dealt with significant issues on and off the court throughout her career. The Seattle Times reports that a herniated disc in her lower back suffered in 2006 left her nearly unable to walk for more than two years. While she rehabbed her injury, her brother was allegedly beaten by police, and her cousin was murdered. Cash continued to battle, though, and kept playing excellent basketball through all of that—she made two of her four career All-Star appearances in 2009 and 2011, and captured her third championship in 2010.

"She's an incredible human being," Barty said today.

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"I'm extremely lucky to be able to call her a friend, I know she's only ever a phone call away.

"The universe has worked in a way that we're so connected. We've got some special anniversaries that we share together, obviously we're connected through our heritage.

"She's an incredible woman and she's been able to guide so many of the indigenous youth coming up in the last however many years, but also her work off the court.

"I'm privileged to know her. I love her to death."

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Healthy Collins plots grand slam shock .
World No.1 Ash Barty will start as the hot favourite in the Australian Open final, but healthy-again US underdog Danielle Collins is hoping to crash the party.Free-rolling following emergency surgery last April to have a cyst the size of a tennis ball removed, Collins is hoping to become the latest surprise grand slam champion when she takes on Barty at Melbourne Park on Saturday night.

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