Ashleigh Barty Wins Wimbledon Women’s Singles Title
Ashleigh Barty won her first singles title at Wimbledon on Saturday, beating Karolina Pliskova, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
Barty is the world’s No.1 player and was the No.1 seed, but she wasn’t considered a hot favorite at the start of Wimbledon, a tournament she never won. Last month, Barty had to retire in the middle of his second round match at Roland Garros due to a left hip injury.
“It’s amazing,” said Barty, upset, as she clutched the trophy.
She did not compete in a grass warm-up before Wimbledon, but won six straight All England Club victories without losing a set before the final. Barty is the first Australian to win the Wimbledon singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won it in 1980.
Barty idolized Goolagong Cawley and paid tribute to him throughout this year’s tournament by wearing a version of her scalloped hem dress.
Barty chose not to play in 2020 when tennis resumed in August, instead staying in Australia and taking several months away from the sport. She returned in January for a tune-up event ahead of the Australian Open, but lost in the quarterfinals of her country’s championship.
Since then, she has had an exceptional year, even with her injury in France, and especially given the fact that due to Australia’s strict quarantine requirements, she has not returned home since March. Barty won’t return home until at least after the US Open in September.
By beating Pliskova, Barty knocked out a double Grand Slam finalist whose own Wimbledon success was perhaps even more surprising than Barty’s. Eighth-seeded Pliskova had lost three of her last four appearances to Wimbledon and suffered a humiliating 6-0, 6-0 loss to Poland’s Iga Swiatek at the Italian Open in May.
After a rocky start to Barty’s career, the version that appeared on center court on Saturday was for a long time the Barty so many had expected. At 25, she was only playing her second Grand Slam final. She won both, but as the No. 1 player in the world and blessed with her level of talent and athleticism, it was difficult to watch Barty on Saturday and know that this mix only resulted in one more. Grand Slam title – the French Open. in 2019.
Barty was dominant at the start, winning the first 14 points of the game and the first four games, as Pliskova struggled to pull away and deal with the nerves of the final of the sport’s most important tournament.
Pliskova came to life after that and made the first set score respectable, but her result was never in doubt.
When Barty is turned on, she has a Federer-like ability to appear as if she is floating on the ground. She curls forehands at impossible angles, slices and whips backhands, depending on what the moment calls for, seemingly pushing her opponents another step behind the baseline with each stroke. Don’t give Barty overhead. No matter where he is, she finds a way to crawl under and crush him.
Barty got a serve break early in the second set to take a 2-1 lead, but Pliskova fought back in game six of the set, landing a forehand down the line to give herself three chances to tie the score to three. . This shot seemed to give Pliskova a surge of energy and confidence. In the next game, she started hitting her serves and forehand and sending Barty around the corners for the first time all afternoon.
It was a battle between two first-time finalists at Wimbledon who fought so hard on their nerves.
Serving at 5-5 and 40-0, Pliskova apparently won the game, but Barty rushed over and stretched for a forehand to allow Pliskova to hit one more stroke. With the pitch wide open, Pliskova scored the backhand volley. Sensing an opening, Barty broke in and forced Pliskova to make a series of errors from the baseline to win the next four points and grab a chance to serve for the game.
But Pliskova struggled once again, breaking Barty’s failing serve once again to force a tiebreaker. Having breathed new life into, Pliskova didn’t waste it chasing balls back and front of the pitch as Barty’s first serve all but disappeared. Barty would double fault on the deposit. The game was heading towards a decisive third set.
“I enjoyed every minute I spent on this pitch,” Pliskova said after the game.
It didn’t start well for Pliskova, who played a horrific 0-1 serve game, scoring a wide open forehand volley to give Barty another early serve break. After that, Barty started rolling again, curling his forehands again and landing his serves in the corners of the box.
Pliskova held on, stretching points and plays for as long as she could, forcing Barty to continue for the winners, but as tough as she was, she couldn’t make that last comeback. Serving for the match a second time, Barty flirted with disaster, giving Pliskova a chance to break her serve once more, but on match point she cradled Pliskova in one more error. As Pliskova’s backhand hit the net, Barty squeezed her head in disbelief after making her childhood dream come true.
“Really proud of me that I was able to reset,” Barty said.
Barty said it took a long time for her to express how much she wanted to win at Wimbledon and that she had little sleep on Friday night, but when she stepped onto the pitch on Saturday she felt right at home she.
His performance has been an exclamation point over two breathtaking weeks.
Craig Tyzzer, Barty’s coach, said she had played little tennis in the weeks following that match, mostly focusing on rehabilitation and building strength. She only started practicing her serve on the Wednesday before the tournament.
“It was a different preparation,” Tyzzer said. “I feel like it’s really well built. It started off a bit rough. I felt she played well in the first game. I didn’t play so well in the second game. Better played in the third. It kind of got better every time.
The championship will surely help make this year’s challenges for Barty worth it. She desperately missed the game and the competition last year. Standing just 5ft 5in, on the smaller side for today’s top players, Barty has been a sports fan since she was a little kid, playing cricket and Aussie football with her siblings and friends. in Australia. She once took time off tennis to play professional cricket.
She is an avid golfer who often has a set of clubs on hand to play rounds as she travels the world for tennis. And she’s traveled more than ever this year.
“She really put her head down and said, ‘OK, if that’s what we need to do,” Tyzzer said. “It’s away from family and friends. But we have a good support network around. of us. We’re doing the best we can. It would be nice to be able to come home and have a week or two off and then come back, but we can’t do that. We try to make the most of what we have.
And that’s exactly what Barty did on Saturday.
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