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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Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since Kei Nishikori in 2008

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Carlos Alcaraz beat Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-2 in the final of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag becoming the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in Delray Beach in 2008 and the youngest Spanish ATP Tour champion since RafaelNadal in Sopot 2004. 

 

Alcaraz earned his first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead with an inside-in forehand winner and he never looked back by holding his next service games. The Spanish teenager broke serve in the third game as Gasquet made a double fault. Alcaraz converted his third break point in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet earned three break points but he was not able to convert them. 

“I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players. I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and  I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It’s going to be useful for the future”, said Alcaraz. 

Gasquet was aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since s’Hertogenbosch in 2018. 

“It was tough for me to play with his full intensity. I had a tough match yesterday. It was tough, and especially with a guy like Carlos, who is playing really fast with a lot of energy and spin. He is playing unbeievable. He is only 18 and of course he had a great future and Ijust could not play at his level and his intensity”, said Gasquet. 

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches the semifinal in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz edged past third seed Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-1 after 2 hours and 18 minutes to reach his second tour-level semifinal at the Playa Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the second youngest semifinalist in Umag tournament history. Nadal was the only player who reached the semifinal in Umag at a younger age. Nadal achieved this feat at the age of 17. 

Alcaraz broke serve in the fourth game at deuce to open up a 4-1 lead. Krajinovic broke back in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Both players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games and held their next service games en route to the tie-break. Alcaraz earned four mini-breaks to take a 7-3 lead. 

Krajinovic broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the second set 6-2. Alcaraz got three breaks to claim the third set 6-1. The Spaniard attacked a second serve on break point in his first return game of the third set and hit a forehand volley to earn the break. Alcaraz did no drop his serve in his next service games to set up a semifinal against his compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas, who cruised past Stefano Travaglia 6-1 6-1 after 68 minutes. Ramos Vinolas went up a 2-0 lead with an early break. Travaglia broke straight back in the third game. Ramos Vinolas broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to win the second set 6-2. 

The Spaniard earned two more breaks in the second and sixth games to claim the third set 6-2. 

Richard Gasquet edged past Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-6 (9-7). Gasquet fended off a break point in the opening game before breaking serve in the second game. Dzumhur earned another break point in the fifth game but Gasquet saved it to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet served out for the first set in the ninth game. 

The Frenchman broke Dzumhur in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and earned a chance for the double break, but Dzumhur saved three break points to claw his way back to 3-4.

Gasquet was not able to convert any of his three break points in the seventh game and Dzumhur broke back in the eighth game. 

Gasquet broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, but he was no able to serve out for the match in the 10th game. Gasquet earned a chance to get another break in the 11th game, but Dzumhur saved two break points to take a 6-5 lead. 

Gasquet served out the 12th game to force a tie-break. Gasquet converted his third match point to reach the semifinal. 

Gasquet set up a semifinal clash against Daniel Altmeier, who beat Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-3. Gasquet has become the oldest semifinal in the tournament’s 31-year history behind Paolo Lorenzi, who reached the 2017 semifinal. 

“I started well. I could not manage to break him at 4-2 in the second set and then I struggled a little bit on my serve. It was tough, but I fought a lot to finish the match in the second set. It was a great tie-break and important to win. I need to be physically ready to go further, as I try to reach the final”, said Gasquet. 

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Astra Sharma beats Natalya Vikhlyantseva to reach the quarter final in Palermo

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Astra Sharma beat Natalya Vikhlyantseva 6-4 7-5 at the Ladies Open in Palermo to reach the quarter finals for the first time since her Charleston title. 

 

Vikhlyantseva made 11 double faults, including six in the second set. Sharma came back from 0-4 down by winning six consecutive game to take the first set 6-4. The Australian player was broken back, when she was serving for the match. 

Sharma set up a quarter final against Danielle Collins, who beat Maddison Inglis from Australia 6-4 6-1 after 1 hour and 20 minutes. Sharma has never met Collins before. 

After three trades of break Collins broke serve at love in the 10th game to win the first set 6-4. Collins broke twice in the first and sixth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Olga Danilovic beat Katarina Zavatska 7-6 (7-4) 7-5. Both players traded breaks twice in the first set en route to the tie-break. Danilovic won a tight tieak with three mini-breaks. Zavatska went up a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Danilovic broke straight back in the sixth game. The next games went on serve until the 12th game when Danillovic got the decisive break to win the second set 7-5. 

Lucia Bronzetti beat 2011 US Open Junior champion Grace Min 6-3 6-1. Bronzetti broke serve in the second game of the first set to take a 2-0 lead. Min broke straight back in the third game. Bronzetti converted her third break point in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. 

Bronzetti went up a 3-0 lead with two breaks after two very long games. Min pulled back one break back in the fourth game, but Bronzetti earned two breaks in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-1. 

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