Christine O'Neil says she's held the honour of being the last Australian woman to win an Australian Open tennis title long enough.
Now, the time is right to hand the baton over.
O'Neil will be courtside at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night as Ash Barty aims to become the first Australian woman to lift the trophy since O'Neil in 1978.
"It's been fun because I'm a pretty good trivia question, so that's always been a bit of a giggle but it's been nice to have had the record and I'm very proud of it," O'Neil said.
"But Ash is a great individual, a great human being and a fantastic tennis player. I couldn't wish to give (the trophy) to a nicer person; I've had it long enough I reckon ... 44 years."
The 65-year-old moved to Port Macquarie seven years ago and has previously worked as a coach in the region, but she says it's more of a hobby now.
"Two hips and a knee replacement will do that to you," she said.
When tournament director Craig Tiley called her on Australia Day to see if she would be available to be courtside, she didn't have to think twice.
"I'm really honoured that they will do that for me because it will be great to be there," she said.
Barty has cruised through the tournament, dropping only 21 games in the process and is poised to end the nation's half-century drought.
O'Neil, however, says Australians are good at heaping pressure on their sportspeople.
"I think she's standing up to it really well," she said.
"She's a grand slam winner twice so she's been in this position before and the only difference is she's at home. She seems to be lapping that up and feeding off it.
Ash is a great individual, a great human being and a fantastic tennis player. I couldn't wish to give (the trophy) to a nicer person; I've had it long enough I reckon ... 44 years.- Christine O'Neil
"Let's hope she's got one more match in her to do that."
The similarities between O'Neil and Barty are few and far between with O'Neill the first to admit that Barty is "a much better player than I ever was."
Importantly, however, she said the world No.1 needed to continue to focus on the process and not the result. It's worked so far.
"She seems to be standing up to the pressure really well, taking it in her stride and handling it," she said.
"If anything she has a great game style to beat all these players so if anything it will be the pressure (that brings her undone), but I just don't see that happening."
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