Ash Barty has done it. The No. 1 tennis player in the world has achieved her dream, to become only the second Australian in history to win Wimbledon.
She held the trophy overnight 41 years after her hero, Evonne Goolagong Cawley last did so, commenting after the game, “I hope I made Evonne proud.”
Barty took the title by beating Karolina Pliskova in three sets: 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3. The second set marked a big comeback from the World No. 8 in the world, but Barty held to dominate again in the third set.
It all happened in one hour and 55 minutes, with Barty breaking down in tears as the realisation of the win sunk in.
This is Barty’s second Grand Slam title, she won the French Open in 2019. She’s been dealing with an injury, and even as late as a month ago was not sure she would play the tournament, given a hip injury sustained during the French Open.
Her family has also been unable to travel with her, given COVID-19 restrictions.
“This is an incredible achievement for all of us my whole team and I can’t wait to be with them soon,” she said on reuniting with them in a few months time.
During her post-match interview, Barty congratulated her opponent and said she loves “testing” herself against her and that she’s sure they will play many more matches together.
“I genuinely have to thank everyone in this stadium, you’ve made my dream very special,” she said to a roaring crowd.
She said she told herself to “just keep fighting” at the start of the third set, knowing that her opponent is an “incredible fighter who brought out the very best in me today.”
“I was really proud of myself, the way I was able to reset, and just keep going, just keep chipping away at the start of that third set and hold my nerve there at the end.
Asked about the match point, she said laughing, “I can’t remember it.”
“It took me a long time to verbalise the fact I wanted to win the tournament and being able to live out the dream with everyone here, has made it better than I could have imagined.
“I didn’t sleep a lot last night, I was thinking of all the what ifs, but when I was coming out on this court, I felt at home in a way.”
Barty joins Goolagong Cawley in the history books, someone she describes as a “hero” and a “mentor”. Goolagong Cawley is a Wiradjuri woman, and Barty, a Ngaragu woman.
Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon twice, the first time fifty years ago in 1971.