Ashleigh Barty joined an illustrious list of Australian names etched on Wimbledon silverware as she beat Karolina Pliskova in a nerve-shredding final to become the first woman from Down Under to win the singles title for 41 years on Saturday.
The 25-year-old world number one looked on course for an embarrassingly easy triumph as Pliskova suffered one of the worst starts ever seen in a Wimbledon final, but eventually needed her best to claim a 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 victory.
After Pliskova struck a backhand into the net following one hour and 55 minutes of see-sawing action, Barty sank to her knees in realisation of fulfilling a childhood dream.
With tears running down her cheeks she then climbed into the stands towards her team, a tradition started by compatriot Pat Cash when he won the men’s singles in 1987.
When she returned to the lush grass, she spoke of her joy of emulating her idol Evonne Goolagong who won the first of her two Wimbledon titles 50 years ago, before adding her second in 1980, since when no Australian woman had won the singles.
Barty, like Goolagong, takes great pride in her indigenous heritage and has worn a scalloped-edged retro outfit in honour of the Australian trailblazer.
“I said just keep fighting,” Barty, whose participation at Wimbledon had been in doubt after she withdrew from the French Open last month with a hip injury, said on court after receiving the Venus Rosewater Dish from the Duchess of Cambridge.
“Kaja (Karolina) brought out the very best of me today. It took me a long time to verbalise that I wanted to win this incredible tournament… being able to live out my dream right now is better then I ever could have imagined.
“I didn’t sleep a lot last night and as I was thinking of all the what ifs but I felt at home out on the court.
“I hope I made Evonne proud.”
Barty spoke to her family, who were unable to travel to London from their Queensland home for the final, after her victory.
“Ash can’t wait to get home,” her father Rob told Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper.
“She knows she is on a long journey and won’t be home until November. She is dying to get back. But she talks to her sisters and her mum every day with FaceTime. She is very much a family person.”
Source: Read Full Article