Wimbledon | Ruthless Barty packs off former champion Kerber, enters final

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Ashleigh Barty is one victory away from realising her dream of winning the Wimbledon title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first triumph.

The 25-year-old World No. 1 produced her best performance of The Championships so far to beat 2018 champion Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6(3).

Barty had never progressed further than the fourth round at Wimbledon despite being good on grass; she was the junior champion in 2011.

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Bouncing back

However, she took the first set with just the one break of serve and then showed real determination to turn around a 1-4 deficit and force the tie-break where she had six match points.

Kerber saved three, but it was only delaying the inevitable and soon it was Barty who raised her arms in celebration and placed her racquet over her head as the moment sank in.

“It’s incredible, it was as close to as good a tennis match that I have ever played,” said Barty who fired eight aces and 38 winners.

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“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.”

Kerber can, though, be pleased with her run despite Barty ending a 10-match winning streak for the 33-year-old German.

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The grass had revived a career that appeared to be spiralling downwards — she had failed to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since her 2018 Wimbledon title.

Step closer

Matteo Berrettini’s quest to become the first player since Boris Becker in 1985 to win Queen’s on debut and then Wimbledon moved a step closer as he beat Felix Augier-Aliassime 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the semifinals on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Italian will play Hubert Hurkacz on Friday for a place in the Wimbledon final after the Pole stunned eight-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets.

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Berrettini is only the second Italian to reach the last four at Wimbledon after Nicola Pietrangeli in 1960.

The match was played in a great spirit befitting of two players who are close friends.

“He’s probably one of my best friends on Tour so it’s never easy to play against him,” said Berrettini.

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“We know each other pretty well. Today was really tricky. Good luck to him but I’m really happy for me.

“Felix today played some parts of the match better than me. I asked myself to be tough. I just cared about the win.”

Berrettini acknowledged that with Hurkacz’s form he will need to be at his very best on Friday.

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