Dream come true: Ash Barty seizes Wimbledon crown
Ash Barty triumphs in a hard-fought final against Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon to become the first Australian ladies’ champion in 41 years.
Ten years since she sensationally lifted the Wimbledon girls’ singles trophy as a 15-year-old, Ash Barty now has a Venus Rosewater Dish to complete the set.
Barty today became the 2021 Wimbledon ladies’ champion after overcoming Karolina Pliskova in three sets.
In a stunning display of artistry, guile and composure, Barty seized her 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 victory in five minutes under two hours.
Barty, who claimed a first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros two years ago, is the first Australian to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley won the second of two Wimbledon titles in 1980.
She is only the third Australian woman to triumph in the Open era, joining Goolagong Cawley (also the 1971 winner) and 1970 champion Margaret Court.
"I hope I made Evonne proud"
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2021
It was history that could easily have overwhelmed many other players. But from the outset, Barty was a picture of calm.
The world No.1 couldn’t have wished for a better start as she tallied early winners off both her forehand and backhand, while damaging with her dazzling serve.
Holding her own serve to love as she opened, Barty then broke the Pliskova serve in the second game. Something special appeared to be unfolding as the Australian calmly consolidated – Barty broke again as she claimed the first 14 points of the match.
While her nervy opponent would eventually find some rhythm, it was the top seed who held all early authority; despite dropping two of her own service games, Barty maintained pressure on Pliskova’s biggest weapon, breaking serve again in the sixth game and soon closing out the set.
But with four of their seven previous matches extending the full distance, Pliskova would inevitably challenge the world No.1.
After service breaks were exchanged in the second set, Barty broke again in the 11th game to serve for The Championships. A hint of nerves finally appeared to set in as Pliskova pressured; she pushed it to a tiebreak, the Czech then levelling the match.
“(To) just keep fighting,” Barty explained of the mindset she summoned at that critical juncture. “Karolina is an incredible competitor. She brought out the very best in me today and it was an exceptional match right from the start. I knew that I had to bring my very best level.”
That Barty’s eventual 30 winners were just three more than Pliskova’s – and her 29 unforced errors just three less than 32 from the Czech – highlighted an incredibly tight contest.
But the third set belonged to Barty, who applied scoreboard pressure as she broke in the second game then consolidated. From there, the world No.1 maintained her lead.
While there was a double-fault as Barty served again for the title at 5-3 in the decider, a superbly placed ace set up a championship point.
The Australian seized it after a Pliskova error and was soon celebrating with tears of joy.
“It took me a long time to verbalise the fact that I wanted to dare to dream and say I wanted to win this incredible tournament,” 25-year-old told an adoring Centre Court audience.
“Being able to live out my dream right now with everyone here has just made it better than I ever could have imagined.”
The first top seed to triumph at Wimbledon since Serena Williams five years ago, Barty is also the first woman to claim a three-set victory since 2012.
She is only the fourth woman to lift both a girls’ and a ladies’ trophy, joining Ann White, Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo.
Barty cherishes the elite company that she keeps.
Asked in the presentation ceremony to say some words about her idol Goolagong Cawley, Barty displayed her most raw emotion yet.
“I hope I made Evonne proud,” she smiled tearfully.
With “A.Barty” already engraved on the All England Club’s Honour Boards, there could be no disputing that.
Ladies’ singles, final
 Ash Barty (AUS) d  Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3
Quad wheelchair singles, final
 Dylan Alcott (AUS) d Sam Schroder (NED) 6-2 6-2
Mixed doubles, semifinals
 Neal Skupski (GBR)/Desirae Krawczyk (USA) d  John Peers (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) 3-6 7-6(4) 7-5