Took me a long time to dare to dream it: Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty
- Ashleigh Barty wore a specially-designed dress to pay a tribute to her mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley
- Barty beat Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3
- I didn't sleep a lot last night, I was thinking of all the what-ifs, said Barty after the match
Australian Ashleigh Barty gave a fitting tribute to her mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley by winning the Wimbledon by beating Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in the women's singles final on Saturday. Today also marked the 50th anniversary of Cawley lifting her maiden crown.
The 25-year-old Australian -- who wore a specially-designed dress in tribute to Cawley's iconic scallop one she sported in 1971 -- said that she hopes that she made Evonne proud.
Prior to this she also won the 2019 French Open title.
"It took me a long time to verbalise, to dare to dream it and say it. I didn't sleep a lot last night, I was thinking of all the what-ifs. I hope I made Evonne proud," Barty said in the post-match presentation.
"I have to thank, genuinely thank every single person in this stadium. You've made my dream so special. Thank you so much, Barty said appreciating the support she got from the crowd.
Barty was cruising in the match and won the first set quite comfortably.
However, 29-year-old Pliskova steadied herself and forced Barty to make errors and drew level in the second set, taking the match into a tiebreak which she won. The final entered into a decider.
It was the first women's Wimbledon final to go to three sets since 2012 when Serena Williams beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska.
Unfazed, Barty started the third set quite confidently and held and serve twice and broke Pliskova once to take a 3-0 lead in the third set, swiftly.
Talking about her competitor and the third set, Barty said: "Just keep fighting. Kaja is an incredible competitor, she brought out the very best in me today. It was an exceptional match right from the start and I knew that I had to bring my very best level. I was proud of myself, be able to reset and keep going."
"To share the win with everyone and with the team is incredible. My team is incredible and they are with me every single step of the way. I can't thank them enough, sacrificing their time and energy into my career and my dreams," the Australian tennis player said.
"This is incredible," said Barty, the third Australian woman to be crowned Wimbledon singles champion in the Open era (Cawley and Margaret Court (1970) the others.
She congratulated Pliskova on having an incredible tournament.
"I have to start with Kaja (Karolina Pliskova). Congratulations on an incredible tournament to you and your team. I love testing myself against you and I'm sure we'll have many many matches," Barty said.
For Pliskova, it was more heartbreak as the former world number one fell at the final hurdle in three sets in the 2016 US Open final.
Pliskova was the fourth Czech woman to appear in a Wimbledon singles final in the Open era, after receiving the runner-up trophy, congratulated Barty.
"I want to say Ash [Barty] played an incredible tournament, I fought to make it difficult for her but she played very well so congrats to her," Pliskova said.
"I never cry, never, and now," said an emotional Pliskova.
"I want to thank all my team. All the success goes to them, without them I would not be here, and my family of course. No matter which trophy I have we have had an incredible two weeks here," she further added.
In a match that lasted around 2 hours, Barty was at her very best as she remained dominant from the very beginning and a ruthless performance in the third set showed why she is the World No 1.