By Jagriti Choudhry
The Ladies Final at the All-England Club witnessed a new Wimbledon champion in world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty. The Australian defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 to win her second grand slam title.
In a thrilling three set final at the fully packed centre court, Barty beat Pliskova after failing to seal the second set with her serve. The victory comes on the 50th anniversary of Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s maiden title at Wimbledon. Barty rightfully became the second Australian to get her name carved on the Venus Rosewater Dish. She even sported a similar dress to pay homage to her idol and friend.
The predictions of the finals did anticipate a close competition, but after Barty sealed the first set in 28 minutes it seemed like a one-sided affair. Pliskova’s ace tally stood at 54 before the final commenced but stayed stagnant through the first set.
The ambience at the centre court was brimming with energy
Despite having a service style well suited for the grass court, Pliskova failed to impress. Moreover, the errors on ground strokes made things hard for the Czech. She lost the opening set 3-6.
Pliskova was able to improvise and went head-to-head with Barty in the second. She got the crowds on their feet and the ambience at the centre court was brimming with energy. Pliskova was able to counter the aggressive game style of her opponent and break her serve while trailing 5-6 denying her the second set. As a consequence, the set went into a tie-break.
Pliskova raised her serve and managed to seal the tie-break 7-4, to take the match to a stirring final set. On one hand Pliskova had the momentum and the confidence of breaking Barty, on the other hand the Australian had a rock-solid consistent game style in her pocket.
The final set began with a 40-0 lead for Barty but Pliskova managed to deuce. Facing the scare of a break at the opening game, Barty held her nerves to hold and lead 1-0.
Barty was overflowing with happiness
Pliskova’s big serve has been her weapon that has helped her win big matches. Unfortunately for Pliskova, she failed to hold onto her serve, and this was exactly the lead Barty needed.
The Australian held onto her nerves and managed to hold her service to seal the final set 6-3. Winning the championship point, Barty was overflowing with happiness and replicated a Pat Cash style of celebration, climbing to her player box to embrace her team.
While accepting their trophies, the players received a well-deserved standing ovation. The centre court crowd rejoiced witnessing a three setter ladies final after 9 years, since the 2012 final between Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska .
Barty had to withdraw from Roland Garros last month after a hip injury. To play on grass and reach so far, she had to fight some battles within herself. Barty confessed: “It took me a long time to verbalise, to dare to dream it and say it.”
The Australian sits at the top of the WTA rankings and will enjoy a “low-key” celebration with her team before she goes back home.