Ashleigh Barty won her first Wimbledon title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s maiden crown, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in the final on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Australian — who wore a specially-designed dress in tribute to Cawley’s iconic scallop one she sported in 1971 — adds the Wimbledon crown to her 2019 French Open title. “It took me a long time to verbalise, to dare to dream it and say it,” said Barty, who was also fulfilling a childhood dream.
A historic three set win for Barty at Wimbledon 2021
It was the first women’s Wimbledon final to go to three sets since 2012 when Serena Williams beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.
Barty is also the first top seed to win the women’s title since Williams in 2016.
Barty had looked like cruising to victory after soaring into a 4-0 lead over her opponent — the Australian’s start so blistering that she won the first 14 points.
However, 29-year-old Pliskova steadied herself while Barty faltered when she served for the match at 6-5 in the second set.
The Czech broke and then swept the tiebreaker to take the final into a decider.
Barty got the break for 2-0 in the final set and despite one or two wobbles she got herself over the line sinking to her knees, her hands over her face in disbelief.
She wiped a couple of tears away before climbing up to the player’s box, just like her compatriot Pat Cash did when he won the Wimbledon men’s title in 1987.