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Playing like girls, Aussies conquer the world

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For Australian sport, this was not so much a red-letter day as a pink-figure day. Ash Barty became world No. 1 in tennis, Hannah Green won golf's US PGA championship, one of four majors, and in Brazil, Sally Fitzgibbons rode her wave to the crest of surfing as world No. 1.

Barty, unranked four years ago, came from a long way back. Two weeks ago, she won the French Open. Green, No. 114 in the world and without a previous pro win to her name, came from nowhere.

Fitzgibbons' rise was not such a surprise, but is a crowning glory nonetheless. Surfers are too cool for counting.

Hannah Green with her new trophy. Credit:AP

All come from far away – as the rest of the world sees it – and it shows. Barty would have celebrated with a beer and steak. Green had soothed her nerves the previous evening at a BBQ with her housemates, all Australian. When she won, they showered her with beer and Australian flags.

These are cliches, perhaps, but also traditions. How Fitzgibbons celebrated was not reported, but you can be sure it wasn't with a cup of tea and a Tim Tam.

The counterpoint, but also the context, to all these winning and grinning Australian women is the........

© Brisbane Times