Ashleigh Barty is now a grand slam winner for the second time in her career, adding Wimbledon to her 2019 French Open victory. It was a topsy turvy affair against Karolina Pliskova but the Australian finally came through in three sets 6-3 6-7 6-3. It ensures Barty will remain at the No.1 spot for long time to come while Pliskova has swiftly returned to the top 10 after exiting just before Wimbledon.
Barty came into this one as the favourite and showed why early on, winning the first 14 points on her way to a 4-0 lead. The dominant serving shown from Pliskova in previous rounds was nowhere to be seen as she only won points early on due to Barty errors. That included several as the Australian served at 4-0, giving up the break to allow Pliskova to get on to the scoreboard. A few sloppy service games could have allowed Barty to get nervous serving for the set but there was no such thing as she served it out the second time with a love hold.
The quiet revival from Pliskova looked to be falling again quickly as more errors saw her fall down a set and 1-3. However, the Czech did come back once more hitting several impressive winners on her way to three games in a row. The pair traded holds until 5-5 where Barty broke from 40-0 down after a casual attempt to close out the game from Pliskova. Barty’s serve hasn’t been lights out in the tournament and it showed once again with a very sloppy service game that led to a tiebreak. Pliskova was inspired in the tiebreak, winning five points in a row from 1-2 down to get to set point, eventually taking it at the third attempt.
The Pliskova from the start of the match returned to begin the deciding set, finding herself broken early on for the all-decisive break. She would have slight opportunities on several service games but Barty delivered at the key moments to nip that in the bud. The World No.1 would face a break point serving for the match but drew the error from Pliskova before taking championship point at the first time of asking.
Pliskova may have fell at the final hurdle but will be hoping it can be a return to her best tennis, something that has been severely lacking for a long time from the former No.1. “To know how to win and to know how to lose, you need to learn that,” she said after, hoping this will be a learning experience. “I think all the big champions and all the big names, they need to learn this. They need to know how to lose. In the end somebody has to lose.”
“It was the most incredible feeling I’ve ever experienced on a tennis court, there was certainly disbelief. I’ve worked so hard my whole career with my team and with people that mean the most to me to try and achieve my goals.” Barty said afterwards. The Australian is rightfully the World No.1 and has a superb all-round game that can trouble players on all surfaces. With the Wimbledon and the French Open already in the bag, you would not write off Barty being able to win both the hard court events at some point her career. Despite it feeling like she has been around forever, the Australian still is only 25 and only getting better.