World number one Ashleigh Barty eased past German Angelique Kerber to reach her first-ever Wimbledon final on Thursday. The Australian won 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in the semi-final at Centre Court. She will now play the winner of the other semi-final between Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova and Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the final on Saturday.
With the win, which came 10 years after she became junior Wimbledon champion, Barty became the first Australian woman to reach the Wimbledon final since her mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980.
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“It’s incredible, it was as close to as good a tennis match that I have ever played,” Barty said in her post-match comments. “It was a hell of a match from the first ball. I am really proud of myself and my team. It’s been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs.”
Barty had previously failed to progress past the fourth round of The Championships, but fired eight aces and won a total of 77 points, including 38 winners enroute to the win. The Australian fell 1-4 behind in the second set, before rallying back to set up six championship points in the tie-breaker.
Kerber was able to save three of them, but to no avail as Barty emerged victorious.
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Meanwhile, Kerber will take heart from her performance as she revived a career that was spiralling downwards. She had failed to reach a Grand Slam quarters since her 2018 Wimbledon win.
In the other semi-final, 29-year-old Plisnova comes on the back of 40 aces, serving one with full force directed at her doubters after she beat Swiss Viktorija Golubic on Tuesday. On the other hand, Sabalenka has defied the sceptics questioning her second seed status as she has broken new ground in reaching the last four having never before got past the fourth round of a major.