On Saturday, World No. 1 Ash Barty defeated Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 in the Wimbledon singles final, becoming the first Australian woman to win the tournament in 41 years.
Barty, who won her first Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2019, followed in the footsteps of her idol Evonne Goolagong, who won her second All England Club title in 1980.
“I hope I did Evonne proud,” Barty remarked after the award ceremony on the court. “Wow, this is amazing.”
Barty came into Saturday’s final having won five of the seven matches she has played against Pliskova, ten years after winning the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon as a 15-year-old.
With a double break, she raced to a 4-0 lead over the former world No. 1.
Pliskova appeared befuddled in the face of the Australian’s sharply dropping slices and precision hitting, but she managed to claw her way back into the match by regaining two service breaks. However, a third break of serve gave Barty the first set.
The Australian maintained her dominance in the second set, breaking in the third game to take a 3-1 lead, but Pliskova found a higher gear to tie the match at 3-3.
Pliskova, who had a break from 40-0 up, broke back immediately to force a tie-break and then rode her confidence to level the match at 1-1 with Barty serving for the match.
The Australian was able to regroup and take a 3-0 lead in the decider with an early break, which proved decisive.
When Pliskova made her 32nd unforced error of the match, Barty converted her first match point.
The Australian collapsed to her knees and burst into tears, later claiming she couldn’t remember what happened on match point.
“She brought out the best in me today,” said Barty.
“I was proud of myself for being able to continue chipping away at the start of the third set.” It took me a while to admit that I wanted to win this tournament, but it’s better than I could have hoped.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night… but I felt right at home on the court.”