Ashleigh Barty has been crowned Wimbledon winner. The Australian won the final against Karolina Pliskova in three sets.
Proud winners: Ashleigh Barty presents her latest trophy.
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Ashleigh Barty has finally ended Australia’s seemingly endless wait for the next Wimbledon winner after 41 years. The world number one won the most prestigious tennis title for the first time on Saturday with 6: 3, 6: 7 (4: 7), 6: 3 in the final against the Czech Karolina Pliskova – and then clapped her hands to her face in disbelief.
As the last Australian to date, Evonne Goolagong Cawley had triumphed on the lawn in London in 1980. Lleyton Hewitt was the last Australian to achieve this in 2002. For the 25-year-old Barty, it is the second title in one of the four Grand Slam tournaments after the success at the 2019 French Open.
The 29-year-old Pliskova, however, has to wait for her first triumph in a Grand Slam tournament. The former number one in the world had also lost the US Open final in 2016, then against Angelique Kerber, who was defeated in the semifinals against Barty on Thursday.
Barty’s dream start caught Pliskova cold
Barty had a lightning start to the game and was 3-0 ahead after just six minutes. The first 14 points went to the all-rounder from near Brisbane, then she put a backhand into the net. The 15,000 spectators on Center Court applauded when Pliskova won the first point to give courage to the number 13 in the world. But the Czech with such a strong serve was even 0: 4 behind after a double error. With a faint smile, she registered the first game win to 1: 4, when Barty faltered for the first time on his own serve.
The women’s tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King excitedly discussed what happened when the sides changed hands in the royal box directly behind Duchess Kate and Prince William. Navratilova also explained directly to Kate what was happening on the lawn. They saw how Pliskova couldn’t get through her service on the third attempt, but found the match a little better afterwards, even if the set was gone.
Pliskova fights back – but draws the short straw
Four weeks after Barbora Krejcikova’s surprising French Open coup, the next Czech success seemed a long way off. Pliskova, supervised by German coach Sascha Bajin, fell 3-1 behind in the second set, despite her economies of scale. The 1.66 meter tall Barty showed nerves with the finish line in sight.
Now finally there was tension and more class in the eighth duel between the two. Barty did not manage to make the title perfect with a 6: 5 lead with his own serve and lost the contested tiebreak after a double fault. In the decisive set, Pliskova gave Barty the break to make it 2-0 with a slight volley error and despite all efforts, trailed behind again. This time in vain, the favorite maintained the lead and after 1:55 hours she was able to cheer with relief.