#AceSportsReport – July.11: And when Plíšková hit a backhand into the net emotion overcame the usually unflappable Australian: When asked about her relationship with Goolagong Cawley, Barty, holding the trophy was onb the verge of tears.
#AceDailyNews says the childhood dream has come true for Australia’s Ash Barty, who claimed her maiden Wimbledon ladies’ singles title with a 6-3, 6-7 (7/4), 6-3 victory over eighth-seeded Czech Karolína Plíšková and the 25-year-old world number one became the first Australian woman to lift the Venus Rosewater dish since fellow Indigenous tennis star Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.
Kindness & LoveX❤️ says well done Australia 🇦🇺 and Congrats Ash Barty
“I just hope I made Evonne proud,” Barty said.
Not only was that an almost certainty but Barty did her country proud as she showed nerves of steel and tenacity similar to another Australian great, Lleyton Hewitt, 19 years after he became the last Australian to win the gentlemens’ singles title in 2002.
“This is incredible,” Barty said of her victory.
“‘Kyah,’ (Plíšková) congratulations on a fantastic tournament, I love testing myself against you and I’m sure we will play many, many more matches.
“‘Kyah’ is an incredible competitor, she brought out the very best in me today. It was an exceptional match right from the start.”
Plíšková, who had been cheered heavily by the crowd during the match also felt the emotion of the moment, after once again losing a grand slam final — the other the 2016 US Open, also in three sets to Angelique Kerber.
“Thank you so much, I enjoy every minute to play on this court,” said Plíšková as tears welled in her eyes.
“I never cry, never,” she added, before congratulating Barty.
“I think Ash played an incredible tournament and an incredible match today.”
For Barty, her second grand slam title arrived a little over two years since her first, when she triumphed at the French Open.
And while she won that final in a 6-1, 6-3 romp over another Czech, Marketa Vondrousova, this one was not so easy despite how it started out.
14 straight points won to start
Barty raced to a lead unlike many seen in a grand slam final as she took the first 14 points over a clearly tense Plíšková.
The Czech, despite a wealth of big match experience, could barely seem to lift her arm to serve, almost as if she was paralysed with fear, and her usually free-swinging groundstrokes were anything but, her arms stiff and her shots lacking pace as Barty raced to a 4-0 lead.
It was one she would not give up, despite giving back one break to Plíšková, who was starting to find her range, but Barty held on to take the set 6-3.
If that was a great omen, so was the fact that no women’s player had come from a set down to win a final at The All England Club since Amelie Mauresmo did so in 2006.
When Barty broke Plíšková again, this time to love to take a 2-1 lead in the second set, it seemed that the Barty Party was getting set to really kick off.
Plíšková though, would not go away.
She hit Barty with a dose of her own medicine to break to love and level the second set at 3 games all.
Massive momentum swings late in match
While the serve of both players had been anything but dominant till that stage, it suddenly was and Plíšková had a 40-0 lead while serving to go up 6-5.
A second set tie-break was looking likely until Barty rattled off five straight points and broke to serve for the match.
She got tight though and unforced errors flowed as Plíšková sent the second set into a tie-break she would win 7-4 with two net cords gifting her two points.
The momentum of the match had shifted yet again and heading into the third set it seemed Plíšková might end Barty’s hopes of following in Goolagong Cawley’s footsteps.
But ‘Aussie Ash’ was not to be denied and started the set by holding serve then breaking Plíšková with ease — before long it was 3-0 Barty.
Service holds were then traded and twice the Australian got within two points of the match before Plíšková held to make it 5-3 to the Aussie.
Serving it out again proved difficult as Plíšková got a break back point but she pushed a backhand wide before Barty steeled herself and served her way to her first Wimbledon title.
Asked whether she ever wavered in the face of the Plíšková onslaught, Barty said she had no option but to keep fighting and was especially proud she was able to do so against the Czech powerhouse, who despite her sluggish start still hit 27 winners to Barty’s 30 and only made three more unforced errors.
“I knew I had to bring my very best level and I was really proud of myself the way I was able to reset and just keep going, keep chipping away at the start of that third set and held my nerve there in the end,” Barty said, before adding she could not really remember championship point.
There will be plenty of time to watch the replay though, which included a Pat Cash-esque climb into the stands to celebrate with her team as her long-held dream came true.
“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,” Barty said.
“And being able to live out my dream right now with everyone here, this has made it better than I could have imagined.
“My team is incredible, they are with me every single step of the way. I can’t thank them enough for sacrificing their time and energy into my career and into my dreams.”
As for when the actual Barty Party would take place, the Queenslander said there would likely be one when she gets home to Australia to see her family.
“I know they’re at home watching,” she said.
“I miss them and I love them.
“I’m so glad that they were able to at least watch and share this with me, but I can’t wait to get home to them in a few month’s time and really celebrate.”
#AceSportsDesk report ……Published: July.11: 2021:
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