(SATSports) – It was an Ashley Barty party on Center Court when she battled past hard hitting Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 to lift her first Wimbledon title and her second major on Saturday.
The dream that started when she was just a young girl in Queensland was fulfilled thanks to fabulous tennis throughout the fortnight and it was a well deserved win on the 50thanniversary of her idol, Goolagong Cawley who won her maiden crown in 1971.
Barty had only dropped one set in the first round heading into the final and she seemed on course to a quick final win when she raced to a 4-0 lead in the first, winning the first 14 points of the match to enforce dominance in the match.
An error hit Pliskova managed to let loose in the fifth game and break the serve of her opponent to register her first game of the finals but again, the unforced errors kept piling up as she gave up another service game and give Barty a chance to serve for the set, which she failed to do at 5-2 but made sure to close out the set at 5-3.
The second set was a final fans around the world hoped for, quick holds by both women to get it going and the prowess of the world number 1 to break early, looking to close out the match in quick fashion, but her Czech opponent just wouldn’t back off, resulting in 3 unforced errors from the Australian to surrender a break while serving for the match, sending the second set into a deciding tiebreak.
All of a sudden, the match which was one way turned into a blockbuster when the eighth seeded player stepped into another level to claim the tiebreak 7-4, with the crowd giving a standing ovation to the fight they were experiencing. This was the first ladies’ singles final to go the distance since 2012.
A rocking start to the third set, with Barty shrugging off pressure after letting 3 game points slip up and winning her service game, followed by a break of serve in the next. It was nothing but pressure from her opponent, who got a break point opportunity in the ninth game, which was saved. Two points later, a dream turned into reality when Pliskova fired a backhand in the net, handing Barty who was overflowing with tears of joy, her second gram slam title.
It is the first women singles title for Australia at Wimbledon in 41 years. Ashleigh Barty emulated fellow Australian, Pat Cash’s iconic climb to the player’s box when he won the title 34 years ago to celebrate with her team, who pricelessly embraced her in pure passion and joy.
(Report compiled by Takudzwa Alufeyo)