Ashleigh Barty beats Karolina Pliskova in three sets to claim maiden Wimbledon crown

61
Ashleigh Barty beats Karolina Pliskova in three sets to claim maiden Wimbledon crown

Ash Barty has won Wimbledon for the first time in her career with a convincing 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova.

The Australian had never gone beyond the fourth round of the Slam before, but she showed off her power and class to dismantle her Czech opponent in a three set battle.

Barty is the first female Australian to triumph at Wimbledon since 1980 and consolidates her position as the world number one.

Under cloudy skies on Centre Court, Barty quickly raced into a 2-0 lead in the opening set as she rattled a backhand up the line to take the game to love.

A visibly nervous Pliskova could not get into any kind of rhythm.

Although she stopped the rot at 14 lost points in a row in the fourth game, Barty earned two break points and sealed it on the second after Pliskova double faulted.

Pliskova broke back to love as Barty suddenly started to make errors, but the world number one responded and moved into a 5-1 lead.

Pliskova clawed another game back on the Barty serve before finally getting to grips with her serve to make it 5-3, but Barty wrapped up the first set with a love hold after 28 minutes.

The second set began well for Barty. At 1-1, Pliskova showed her nerves again as she twice double faulted and then followed up with two unforced errors to hand Barty the all-important break.

At 3-2 down, Pliskova got herself back into the match as she sent a crushing forehand down the line on Barty’s serve to get three break points, before a forehand from the Australian’s into the net levelled the set.

The match got tighter and tighter as Pliskova grew in confidence and started to serve more effectively.

The two were locked at 5-5 before a Pliskova backhand into the net handed Barty the vital break to serve for the title.

But Pliskova would not roll over and forced a tie-break. Pliskova let out a roar of emotion to make it 3-2 in the tense decider and snatched the second set when Barty double faulted. Barty retained her composure in the third, as errors crept back into Pliskova’s game, and rattled off the opening three games.

An important hold of serve to make it 4-1 put Barty in further control.

The number eight seed continued to battle hard and was still hitting freely, but Barty saved a break point at 5-3 up before her eighth ace gave her championship point.

The 25-year-old sealed the title as Pliskova whipped a loose forehand into the net. The win sees the 2011 Wimbledon junior champion mark the 50th anniversary since her mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her first Wimbledon title.