London, UK, 7 July 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Ash Barty emerged triumphant from a highly-anticipated and record-breaking all-Australian quarterfinal battle at Wimbledon today.

The world No.1 recorded a 6-1 6-3 victory against fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic to advance to her first semifinal at the All England Club.

“This is a dream come true. Genuinely, it is,” Barty said. “This is my dream and I’m extremely grateful that I’ve got an opportunity to come out here, have fun and live out what I work so hard to do. I’m loving and enjoying every minute.”

Tomljanovic, playing on Wimbledon’s famous Centre Court for the first time in her career, made a composed start and held to love in the opening game.

But it did not take long for the top-seeded Barty to strike, breaking Tomljanovic’s serve in the third game and consolidating to move ahead 3-1.

From there, a confident Barty raced through the opening set in 24 minutes.

With seven winners to Tomljanovic’s one, Barty was dictating play – especially on serve, conceding only three points.

“The match-up felt really bad from my side,” Tomljanovic admitted. “Felt like she was neutralising my serve with the slice, which kind of set the tone for me and made me really uncomfortable because it was hard to break her. She was serving great, and the slice was just really hard to deal with today.”

World No.75 Tomljanovic, contesting her first major quarterfinal, halted Barty’s run of six consecutive games to break in the opening game of the second set. But Barty immediately broke back, refusing to let Tomljanovic build any momentum of her own.

From 1-4 down in the second set, a gritty Tomljanovic won two games in a row to heap some pressure on Barty.

However, the world No.1 had too many answers. Barty broke in the eighth game and then served out victory after 66 minutes on court.

“Today I was able to use my weapons a little bit better and just bring the ball back into my patterns a bit more regularly. I certainly wasn’t as loose as I have been with errors and kind of ill-timed lapses,” Barty said, comparing her form to earlier in the tournament. “I felt really sharp.”

Barty finished with 22 winners to Tomljanovic’s five.

“Ajla is an incredible competitor. I’ve practised with her a lot, played with her as Fed Cup teammates. She was always going to bring out the very best in me,” Barty said.

“I had to play my absolute best to be able to compete with her. She’s had an incredible fortnight and I think all Aussies back home are bloody proud of her. It was really nice to share the court with her today.”

Barty joins elite company as the sixth Australian to reach a Wimbledon ladies’ singles semifinal in the Open era – and the first since Jelena Dokic 21 years ago.

Wimbledon ladies’ singles
Australian semifinalists – Open era
Player Year
Judy Dalton 1968, 1971
Margaret Court 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975
Kerry Reid 1974
Evonne Goolagong Cawley 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980
Jelena Dokic 2000
Ash Barty 2021

It is Barty’s third career Grand Slam semifinal appearance, having also made the final four at Roland Garros in 2019 and Australian Open 2020.

The 25-year-old from Queensland plays world No.28 and Wimbledon 2018 champion Angelique Kerber in the semifinals. Barty’s head-to-head record against the 33-year-old German is tied at two-all, with their last meeting in 2018.

“It is the ultimate test. Angie’s obviously had success here before and had the best fortnight here possible,” Barty said. “I love that match-up, I love playing Angie. She is an incredible competitor and she knows her way around this court. I hope I can play well and give myself a chance.”

Barty is aiming to become the fourth Australian to reach a Wimbledon ladies’ final in the Open era and the first since Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s 1980 triumph.

With rain interrupting play on the outside courts today, Barty and Tomljanovic’s showdown is the only completed match featuring Australian players so far on day eight.

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Ladies’ singles, quarterfinals
[1] Ash Barty (AUS)
d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-1 6-3

Ladies’ singles, semifinals
[1] Ash Barty (AUS)
 v [25] Angelique Kerber (GER)

Ladies’ doubles, quarterfinals
Storm Sanders (AUS)
/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v [7] Hao-Ching Chan (TPE)/Latisha Chan (TPE)

Mixed doubles, third round
[17] John Peers (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) v [6] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Latisha Chan (TPE)
Andrei Vasilevski (BLR)/Arina Rodionova (AUS) v [4] Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)/Nicole Melichar (USA) 2-6 2-3 to finish

Quad wheelchair singles, semifinals
[1] Dylan Alcott (AUS) v [WC] David Wagner (USA)

Quad wheelchair doubles, final
Dylan Alcott (AUS)/Sam Schroder (NED) v Andy Lapthorne (GBR)/David Wagner (USA)

Boys’ singles, first round
Philip Sekulic (AUS) 
v [8] Sean Cuenin (FRA) 3-4 to finish

Boys’ doubles, first round
Philip Sekulic (AUS)/Orel Kimhi (ISR) v [1] Jack Pinnington Jones (GBR)/Shang Juncheng (CHN)