Ash Barty Wins Wimbledon 50 Years After Her Idol Goolagong - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Wins Wimbledon 50 Years After Her Idol Goolagong

A record-breaking start to the final guided Barty to becoming the first top seed to win the women’s title since Serena Williams back in 2016.

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Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Karolina Pliskova (CZE) in the final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 12 Saturday 10/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Ash Barty has become the first Australian woman to win the Wimbledon Championships in over 40 years after brushing aside an at times erratic Karolina Pliskova in the final.

 

Barty, who won the Wimbledon girls’ title 10 years ago, rallied to a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3, roller-coaster win on Centre Court after almost two hours of play. The highly anticipated encounter was hindered by emotions throughout with Pliskova struggling to produce her best tennis as she leaked 31 unforced error errors. Barty herself also experienced her share of blips but they were not as substantial as she hit seven aces and 30 winners en route to the milestone victory.

“Karolina is an incredible competitor and she brought out the best in me today,” Barty said during her on-court interview. “It was an exceptional match right from the start and I knew I had to bring my very best level.’
“I was really proud of myself with how I was able to reset (after the second set) and just keep going.”

In what was the first women’s final featuring two debutants since 1977, Barty got off to a blistering start. A 14-point winning streak saw the Australian surge to a 3-0 lead in just 10 minutes as her opponent visibly struggled to contain her nerves. Setting a new Wimbledon record for most consecutive points ever won in a women’s final. Barty then worked her way to a double break at the expense of a Pliskova double fault on break point. A somewhat unexpected event considering Pliskova has dropped serve just four times across her six previous matches.

However, the world no.13 wasn’t the only player to falter during the opening set with Barty also struggling with her own issues. Closing in on taking a decisive lead, out of nowhere the top seed was unable to hold after getting broken twice in a row with one of those occurring when she was serving to take the set 6-1. Contending with an elevation in Pliskova’s level, Barty still had enough of a margin to close out the opener as she converted her first set points with the help of a forehand error from her opponent.

The roller-coaster continued into the second frame with both players exchanging blows. First it was Barty who broke to love and moved up to a set and 3-1 lead. However, two games later she experienced a taste of her own medicine by getting broken herself to love. Towards the business end Barty worked her way to 6-5 and had the chance to serve the match out but failed to seize the opportunity.

Pliskova’s resistance finally rewarded her in the tiebreak as she valiantly battled her way to a 6-2 lead. After failing to convert two set points, it was third time lucky after a double fault from the world No.1 sent the match into a decider.

With all to play for it would be a single break in Barty’s favour that would get her over the finish line. Another error-stricken Pliskova service game granted her a 2-0 lead at the start of the final set. Serving for the title, an ace down the line handed Barty her first championship point which she converted after a shot from across the court slammed into the net.

“It took me a long time to verbalise saying that I want to win this tournament and being able to live out my dream right now with everyone here has made it better than I could ever imagine,” said the new champion.
“I didn’t sleep a lot last night and was thinking about all the what ifs? But when I was coming out on this court I felt at home in a way.”
“I have to thank every single person in this stadium, you have made my dream so special.”
She added.

Throughout the tournament Barty has paid tribute to her idol and mentor Evonne Goolagong who won the title back in 1961. Her outfit for the tournament was inspired by what she wore at the event 50 years ago. Barty has previously said the ‘iconic dress’ has inspired both her and a generation of indigenous youth.

“I hope I made Yvonne proud,” Barty stated before starting to cry.

There is some silver lining for Pliskova who played in her first major final since 2016. She will move up the rankings to No.7 when they are updated on Monday. Her highest position since May.

I enjoyed every minute playing on this court,” the Czech said.
“I think she was playing an incredible tournament and it was an incredible match today. It wasn’t easy closing out the second set and I was fighting really hard but she played very well.”

Barty is the 11th active player to have won multiple Grand Slam titles after also previously triumphing at the 2019 French Open. At Wimbledon she is the fourth woman in the Open Era to have won both the junior and senior titles after Ann Jones, Martina Hingis and Amélie Mauresmo.

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Marco Cecchinato saves seven break points he faced to beat Dominic Thiem in Geneva

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Marco Cecchinato saved all seven break points he faced to beat 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-4 in 1 hour and 34 minutes in the opening round of the Gonet Geveva Open. 

 

Cecchinato avenged his defeat against Thiem, who beat the Italian player in straight sets in the Roland Garros semifinal in 2018. 

Thiem missed the second part of the 2021 season due to a wrist injury. The Austrian player made his come-back last March at the ATP Challenger tournament in Marbella and he has not scored a single win in his six matches. 

Cecchinato saved two break points in a long third game after four deuces in the third game of the second set. Cecchinato dropped just three points in his remaining two service games to close out the first set 6-3. 

Cecchinato missed a break point at 1-1 in the second set before saving five break points in the fourth game to hold serve after four deuces. Cecchinato earned the decisive break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held his next two service games easily to seal the second set 6-3 after 1 hour and 33 minutes. 

Cecchinato set up a second round match against Kamil Majchrzak, who overcame Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-3. 

John Millman cruied past John Millman 6-3 6-1 setting up a second match against Danil Medvedev, who will play his first clay-court match of the year after a hernia problem. Federico Delbonis edged past Lithuanian wild card Rikardas Berankis 6-4 6-4. Last year’s Winston Salem champion Ilya Ivashka came back from one set down to beat Marcos Giron 4-6 6-3 6-2. 

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Daniil Medvedev ‘Happy To Play Wimbledon’ If Ban Is Lifted

The world No.2 says he is willing to speak with other players about the situation ahead of his return to action following surgery.

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Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in action against Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Daniil Medvedev says he is still hopeful that he might be able to play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships should officials at The All England Club decide to change their stance.

 

At present the reigning US Open champion will not be allowed to play at the grass court major due to his nationality. Officials at the Grand Slam have confirmed that Russian and Belarussian players have been banned from the event due to the war in Ukraine. Ian Hewitt, who is the chairman of The AELTC, said the action was taken in order to prevent ‘the propaganda machine of the Russian regime’ from potentially benefiting from their players’ success.

The ban is a controversial move for the sport which until now had a united approach when it came to allowing those players participate in tournaments but only as neutral athletes. Former Wimbledon champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokopvic and Andy Murray have all expressed some degree of opposition to the decision. Meanwhile, the ATP and WTA are considering the possibility of removing the allocation of ranking points at the event.

Speaking about the ban ahead of this week’s Geneva Open, Medvedev acknowledges that it is a ‘tricky situation’ but is still hopeful that a u-turn could occur which would allow him to play. The 26-year-old has made four main draw appearances at Wimbledon with his best result being a run to the fourth round last year.

“There has been a lot of talk around it. I just tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make. It’s right now about Wimbledon itself, the ATP, maybe the British government is involved,” news agency AFP quoted Medvedev as telling reporters in Switzerland.
“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.
“I can play: I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love this tournament.
“I cannot play: well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

The former world No.1 has been among a group of Russian players who have previously called for peace in the region. Although none of them have gone as far as publicly condemning the actions of their government. Something which has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s Elina Svitoliva.

“I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it’s very upsetting,” Medvedev commented on the war.

Geneva will be the first event Medvedev has played in since reaching the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. He took time away from the Tour to undergo hernia surgery but has confirmed he intends to play at next week’s French Open despite his lack of match play on the clay.

During his time at those events, the tennis star says he is more than happy to speak with other players about the Wimbledon ban should they want to.

“Since I haven’t been on the tour, I haven’t talked to any of them face to face. It was the first time when I came here on Saturday when I can talk to players, and if they start talking about this, we can discuss,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly what’s happening, what’s going to happen, if there are going to be more decisions made.
“Same about Wimbledon. I don’t know if this decision is 100 percent, and it’s over.”

Granted a bye in the first round, Medvedev will start his Geneva campaign against either Richard Gasquet or John Millman.

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Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic win their fourth ATP Masters 1000 doubles title

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Defending champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic battled past John Isner and Diego Schwartzman 6-2 6-7 (6-7) 12-10 to claim their fourth ATP Masters 1000 doubles title together at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Mektic and Pavic broke twice to win a one-sided opening set 6-2. Both teams went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break of the second set. The Croatians earned a championship point at 6-5 in the tie-break, but Schwartzman hit a pair of forehand winners to force a Match Tie-Break. 

Both teams did not convert match points before Mektic and Pavic won the final two points to seal the Match Tie-Break 11-9. 

Isner became the first player to reach three Masters 1000 doubles finals with three different players in the same year. The US player won two consecutive Sunshine Double trophies in Indian Wells with Jack Sock and the Miami Open with Hubert Hurkacz.  Mektic and Pavic won nine ATP Tour titles last year and finished the 2021 season as the world number 1 team in the ATP Doubles Rannking. They had not won a title so far in 2022 before the Rome tournament, but they showed their form this week, as they dropped just one set during the tournament. The Croatian Doubles team beat Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in the semifinal on Saturday.

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