Ash Barty Wins 2021 Wimbledon Title over Karolina Pliskova for 2nd Career Grand Slam

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AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Ashleigh Barty captured her second
Grand Slam singles title Saturday with a three-set victory (6-3, 6-7, 6-3) over Karolina Pliskova in the 2021 Wimbledon women’s final at
the All England Club in London.

Barty, the tournament’s No. 1 seed,
previously won the 2019 French Open and has held the top spot in the
WTA Tour rankings since September 2019. She got off to a fast start
in the championship match by winning the first four games, and she recovered after second-set surge from her eighth-seeded counterpart to take home the Venus Rosewater Dish.

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

Destiny fulfilled 🇦🇺<a href=”https://twitter.com/ashbarty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@AshBarty</a> is our new Ladies’ Singles Champion 🏆<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Wimbledon</a> <a href=”https://t.co/Yeh7wldDuv”>pic.twitter.com/Yeh7wldDuv</a>

The 25-year-old Australian, who also earned a Grand Slam doubles title alongside CoCo Vandeweghe at the 2018 US Open, recorded 30 winners and seven aces in the win.

Pliskova was making her second
appearance in a major final. She lost to Angelique Kerber in the 2016
US Open title match. The Czech veteran tallied 27 winners and 32 unforced errors
on Saturday.

Barty dropped the second set in her
opening-round win over Carla Suarez Navarro before winning 11
consecutive sets to reach the final. It was a run highlighted by
victories over No. 14 seed Barbora Krejcikova and No. 25 seed
Angelique Kerber.

It marked a return to form for the 2019
WTA Player of the Year, who was just starting to peak during the
clay-court season after sitting out much of last year because of the
COVID-19 pandemic when she suffered injuries that forced her to
withdraw from the Italian Open and the French Open. 

After beating Kerber in the semifinals,
she admitted it was a close call as to whether she’d even get healthy
in time to play in the Wimbledon draw.

“I think we had 23 or 24 days in
between finishing up in Paris and my first round here,” Barty told
reporters
. “To be honest, it was going to be touch-and-go.
Everything had to be spot on to give myself a chance to play
pain-free and to play knowing that I could trust my body.”

She looked healthy Saturday and bounced
back nicely to take early control of the deciding set after letting
the championship briefly slip through her fingers late in the second.

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

We couldn’t imagine a more deserving champion 🤗<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Wimbledon</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/ashbarty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@ashbarty</a> <a href=”https://t.co/MA8xNZWaF5″>pic.twitter.com/MA8xNZWaF5</a>

Pliskova, 29, was a surprise finalist
despite her top-10 ranking. She lost the first match in both of her
grass-court warmup tournaments and hadn’t advanced beyond the fourth
round at Wimbledon in eight prior appearances.

The 16-time WTA Tour tournament winner
benefited from a favorable draw, which allowed her to reach the
semifinals without facing a seeded opponent, but there was nothing
lucky about her hard-fought win over No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in
the event’s penultimate round.

“I can’t believe it because
somehow coming into this tournament, the dream was to make the second
week, because I [haven’t been] in the second week for a while,”
Pliskova said before the championship match. “Never I thought
about … [making] the final.”

She played well throughout the final
two sets of the final, but she dropped one service game in the third
set and could never get it back as Barty saved the only break point
she faced en route to the title.

Looking ahead, Novak Djokovic will
attempt to keep his hopes of winning the calendar Grand Slam alive
when he faces Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon men’s final Sunday.

Then the focus will shift toward Tokyo
with five tennis gold medals on the line in the Summer Olympics. The men’s and
women’s singles draws both start play on July 24.

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