Follow all the action live as Ashleigh Barty faces Karolina Pliskova in the women’s singles final at Wimbledon.
Barty, the world No 1, is aiming to emulate her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley and become just the third Australian woman to win the singles at Wimbledon in the Open era. She has been in imperious form, too, dropping only one set throughout the tournament and navigated by far her trickiest test, against 2017 champion Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals, in commanding fashion. “I’m enjoying every single day that we get to come out here and do what I love,” Barty said. “Being able to come out and play on the final on Saturday is going to be the best experience ever.”
Pliskova, who held the world No 1 ranking in 2017, had only previously reached one grand slam final in her career, when she cratered at the US Open against Kerber in 2016. The Czech admitted prior to Wimbledon to be hoping only to reach the second week but she was able to cruise clinically into the semi-finals without dropping a set before overcoming the immense power of No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka to reach the final. Follow all the action live below:
WIMBLEDON 2021: PLISKOVA REACTS TO SABALENKA VICTORY
After overcoming the immense power of No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals, Pliskova was in a jubilant mood in her post-match press conference on Thursday.
WIMBLEDON 2021: BARTY WARMS UP WITH AUSSIE RULES
Barty, who is an all-round sporting phenomenon, having famously taken a break from tennis to play cricket in the Big Bash League, as well as possessing a golf swing that’s drawn compliments from Tiger Woods, warmed up for this afternoon’s final with a game of Aussie Rules.
Pliskova had fallen out of the world’s top-10 coming into Wimbledon and has historically always struggled at the tournament. Having hoped just to reach the second week, the Czech admitted she shocked herself by reaching the final.
“I think I still half can’t believe it. Coming into this tournament, the dream was to make the second week because I was not in the second week for a while. I never thought about maybe going into the final.
“Of course you need to win couple matches to feel [more confident] and to play the best tennis. It’s not that I would be playing horrible. Sometimes you’re just missing a little bit and you’re not doing anything wrong. I think sometimes just to hang in there is super important, which I did. I didn’t really change anything.”
WIMBLEDON 2021: BARTY HOPING TO HONOUR GOOLAGONG
Barty has been wearing a scallop-hemmed dress in honour of her idol Goolagong, who won her first Wimbledon title fifty years ago. Against Pliskova this afternoon, Barty is hoping to pay tribute to that history and write some of her own.
“To give myself a chance to create some history that’s almost like a tribute to her is really exciting,” said Barty. “It’s a really special anniversary for Evonne. I’ve just been kind of floating my way through and just kind of enjoying the opportunities I’ve had here this week. I couldn’t be more proud to be in a position to wear an outfit inspired by her. I couldn’t be more rapt to have that opportunity to win on Saturday.”
WIMBLEDON 2021: BARTY VS PLISKOVA
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the 2021 women’s singles final at Wimbledon, where world No 1 Ashleigh Barty faces Karolina Pliskova.
Fifty years after Evonne Goolagong Cawley became the first Indigenous Australian to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish, Barty is hoping to pay tribute to her idol with the second grand slam of her career, having already won the French Open in 2019. She has dropped just one set throughout the tournament so far and played magnificently to defeat 2017 champion Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals.
Pliskova, a former world No 1 herself, had never previously boasted an impressive record at Wimbledon but coasted through to the semi-finals without ever being troubled and then successfully tamed the power of No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka to reach the second grand slam final of her career.
Barty has a clear advantage by way of history, with the Australian boasting a 5-2 record in their matches to date.
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