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Wimbledon: Ashleigh Barty beats Karolina Pliskova for 2nd Grand Slam title

She breezed to a 4-0 lead against the former world No.1 with a double break
Ashleigh Barty
Ashleigh Barty
Twitter / @atptour

The Telegraph   |   London   |   Published 11.07.21, 02:26 AM

Ashleigh Barty is the No. 1 player in the world and was the top seed among the women, but she was not considered a runaway favourite at the beginning of Wimbledon, a tournament she had never won.

She did not play a warm-up event on grass ahead of Wimbledon either. Just last month, Barty had to retire in the middle of her second-round match at the French Open with an injury to her left hip.

But Barty took all that and more in her stride as she became the first Australian woman to win the Wimbledon singles title in 41 years on Saturday when she defeated Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 in the final.

The 25-year-old, who won her maiden grand slam at Roland Garros in 2019, emulated her idol Evonne Goolagong who claimed the second of her All England Club titles in 1980.

“I hope I made Evonne proud,” Barty said on court after the trophy presentation. “This is incredible.”

In beating Pliskova, Barty knocked off a two-time Grand Slam finalist whose own success at Wimbledon was perhaps even more surprising than Barty’s.

Pliskova, who was seeded eighth, had lost three of her last four matches ahead of Wimbledon and suffered a humiliating 6-0, 6-0 loss to Iga Swiatek of Poland at the Italian Open in May.

Ten years after winning the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon as a 15-year-old, Barty came into Saturday’s final having won five of the seven matches she had played against Pliskova.

She breezed to a 4-0 lead against the former world No.1 with a double break.

Pliskova appeared all at sea against the Australian’s sharply dropping slices and precision hitting but managed a way to claw back into the contest by getting two service breaks back. But a third break of serve gave Barty the opening set.

The Australian maintained her control in the second set, breaking in the third game to open up a 3-1 lead but Pliskova found a higher gear to level things at 3-3.

With Barty serving for the match Pliskova, who suffered a break from 40-0 up, broke back immediately to force a tie-break and then rode her confidence to level the match at 1-1.

The Australian managed to regroup and jumped to a 3-0 lead in the decider with an early break, which proved enough.

Barty converted her first match point when Pliskova committed a backhand unforced error, her 32nd of the match.

The Australian slumped to her knees and broke into tears, saying later she was unable to remember what happened on match point.

“She brought out the best of me today,” Barty added.

“I was proud of myself that I could keep chipping away at the start of the third set. It took me a while to say I wanted to win this tournament, but it’s better than I ever imagined.

“I didn’t sleep last night... but I felt at home out on the court.”

Written with inputs from NYT News Service & Reuters

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