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Wimbledon 2021: Ashleigh Barty beats Karolina Pliskova to win title

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Wimbledon 2021 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 28 June-11 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details here

Ashleigh Barty won her maiden Wimbledon title as she beat Karolina Pliskova in a nervy final to become the first Australian women's champion for 41 years.

Barty won the first 14 points to take early charge in a 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 win on the 50th anniversary of idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley's maiden win here.

"This is incredible," said Barty, who dropped to her knees in tears.

"It took me a long time to verbalise, to dare to dream it and say it."

After climbing up into the stands to hug her team, she told the Centre Court crowd: "I didn't sleep a lot last night. I was thinking of all the what-ifs. I hope I made Evonne proud.

"I have to thank every single person in this stadium. You've made my dream so special."

Both women were making their debut in the final of the grass-court Grand Slam – the first time since 1977 that had happened – and that may go some way to explaining the rollercoaster nature of the match, which felt at times more like a battle of the minds.

After Barty's flying start, Czech Pliskova settled in the second set, rediscovering her big serve before errors crept back in the third.

Barty had the chance to serve out victory in the 12th game of the second set but she was broken as Pliskova forced a tie-break, which the Czech won when the Australian double-faulted.

Barty took an early break in the third, which proved decisive as she added the Wimbledon trophy to the French Open title she won in 2019.

Reaction to Barty's win over Pliskova in Wimbledon final – TV, radio & textLive scores, results and order of playAlerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Barty emulates Goolagong Cawley on 50th anniversary

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ashleigh bartyBy winning Wimbledon, Ashleigh Barty has fulfilled her childhood dream

Barty has been sporting a scallop-hem dress in tribute to Goolagong Cawley, her idol, friend and mentor.

There have long been comparisons between the two, with Barty playing a similar all-court game, as well as sharing a similar modest and popular personality and indigenous Australian heritage.

They now also have their names on the Venus Rosewater Dish.

Barty, who won the junior Wimbledon title in 2011, has become the fourth woman in the Open era to go on to also lift the women's title after Britain's Ann Jones, Swiss Martina Hingis and France's Amelie Mauresmo.

She made a fast start to go 4-0 up as Pliskova seemed constrained by the weight of the occasion but the Czech finally got on the scoreboard with a break to love.

But it was too late as Barty wrapped up the set in just 28 minutes.

More nerves from the Czech in the shape of back-to-back double faults handed Barty a break for 2-1 at the start of the second set but Pliskova fought back to level the set.

Barty came from 40-0 down to break for 6-5 but nerves then seemed to creep into her own game as she failed to serve out the victory and instead found herself in a tie-break.

Pliskova took the match to a third set but then double-faulted and netted a volley to give Barty a key break before the Australian held her nerve this time to serve out the win.

Pliskova's wait for Grand Slam win continues

A big server, Pliskova's game is well suited to grass and she has enjoyed success on the surface with two Eastbourne titles.

The former world number one's progress to the final had been somewhat under the radar because of poor run in the build-up coupled with a reputation as a serial underperformer on the biggest stages.

Her only previous Grand Slam final was the 2016 US Open, and since then she had reached only two more major semi-finals before this year's Wimbledon.

While reaching the final was marked progress on that score, her tightness at times was not.

Coming into the match she had hit a tournament-leading 54 aces but in the first set here she managed none at all.

She fired five aces in the second as that part of her game began to improve but her nerves were still visible at the changeovers when she repeatedly jigged her legs up and down.

Her emotions spilled over during her on-court interview as her voice broke, saying: "I never cry, never, and now…

"I want to say Ash played an incredible tournament. I fought to make it difficult for her but she played very well so congrats to her and her team.

"I want to thank all my team. All the success goes to them, without them I would not be here, and my family of course. No matter which trophy I have we have had an incredible three weeks here."

'The stuff of dreams' – reaction

Pat Cash, former Wimbledon champion on BBC Radio 5 Live: "What a special moment. This is the moment that makes it all worthwhile, it really is."

Tracy Austin, two-time Grand Slam champion on BBC TV: "To win on the 50th anniversary of her idol, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who she admires so much. This is so special to share this moment with her team.

"She put it out there just a few months ago that she wanted to win Wimbledon."

Annabel Croft, former British number one on BBC Radio 5 Live: "She was a little undercooked and it did take her those early rounds to get her game going again, but my goodness at the end it was sensational.

"When you've watched someone go through so much in their tennis life, then needed to get away from it [Barty took a break from tennis in 2014 before playing cricket for 18 months], and then to come back and win Wimbledon – it is the stuff of dreams, almost the stuff of movies."

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Comment posted by Grunties, today at 16:28Grunties

16:28Brilliant play from both.
Took Pliskova a while to get going sadly for her.
Was hoping Barty would win, but feel sorry for Pliskova.
Such a nice change to hear a tennis match without having to resort to the mute button to drown out the grunting screechers.11312C

Reply posted by Champ20ns, today at 16:30Champ20ns

16:30to Grunties"Brilliant play from both.Took Pliskova a while to get going sadly for her.Was hoping Barty would win, but feel sorry for Pliskova.Such a nice change to hear a tennis match without having to resort to the mute button to drown out the grunting screechers."Champ20ns replied: Bring back Sharapova!1487More replies (21)downS

Comment posted by Sup, today at 16:33Sup

16:33Would be nice to have a Wimbledon without the celebrities & public figures in the crowd. Why do we even care that they’re there.9924B

Reply posted by Brass Eye, today at 16:37Brass Eye

16:37to Sup"Would be nice to have a Wimbledon without the celebrities & public figures in the crowd. Why do we even care that they’re there."Brass Eye replied: It’s so Andrew Castle can fawn over them like OK Magazine.659More replies (17)downP

Comment posted by Pumpyface, today at 16:38Pumpyface

16:38It was good to see Barty win. These days, most of the best players are tall and rely on power and big hitting to bring success.

She isn’t the tallest, or most powerful, but she has the accuracy and a huge variety of shots. A bit like Rod Laver was at the peak of his success.788K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 16:57Kate G F

16:57to Pumpyface"It was good to see Barty win. These days, most of the best players are tall and rely on power and big hitting to bring success.She isn’t the tallest, or most powerful, but she has the accuracy and a huge variety of shots. A bit like Rod Laver was at the peak of his success."Kate G F replied: Aussie champs come in all shapes, sizes and heights. But the heart is always the size of the land.368More replies (9)downH

Comment posted by Hilary, today at 16:31Hilary

16:31Not the prettiest of matches, both players taking it in turns to be engulfed in nerves, but enthralling nonetheless and the right winner in the end. Let’s hope we get more of Barty’s style of tennis to compete against the massive hitters, makes the ladies tennis very interesting.715O

Reply posted by okokok, today at 16:33okokok

16:33to Hilary"Not the prettiest of matches, both players taking it in turns to be engulfed in nerves, but enthralling nonetheless and the right winner in the end. Let’s hope we get more of Barty’s style of tennis to compete against the massive hitters, makes the ladies tennis very interesting."okokok replied: Perfectly put.187More replies (2)downA

Comment posted by Al_Bundy, today at 16:27Al_Bundy

16:27Well done Barty. Tennis needs some new champions.555K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 16:44Kate G F

16:44to Al_Bundy"Well done Barty. Tennis needs some new champions."Kate G F replied: Very fitting that she won on the 50th anniversary of EGC’s win. Awesome412More replies (4)downA

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Comment posted by Atomic Lizard, today at 16:36Atomic Lizard

16:36I see the football “fans” are out in farce (correct spelling!)…

Showing themselves up on any HYS about any other sport – makes me embarassed to be English!

But well done Ash Barty!5917A

Reply posted by andyp, today at 16:41andyp

16:41to Atomic Lizard"I see the football “fans” are out in farce (correct spelling!)…Showing themselves up on any HYS about any other sport – makes me embarassed to be English!But well done Ash Barty!"andyp replied: I am a football fan and trust me their comments make me cringe as well445More replies (4)down7

Comment posted by 75SRC, today at 16:2875SRC

16:28Hugely proud as an Aussie living here in the UK for Ash well done hugely deserved after all the hard work, really good final too!377K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 16:57Kate G F

16:57to 75SRC"Hugely proud as an Aussie living here in the UK for Ash well done hugely deserved after all the hard work, really good final too!"Kate G F replied: Yay brother/sister!! Well said59G

Comment posted by Geoff Morgan, today at 17:21Geoff Morgan

17:21Well done Ash Barty. No need for BBC to keep showing some random actor sitting in the crowd.290K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 18:33Kate G F

18:33to Geoff Morgan"Well done Ash Barty. No need for BBC to keep showing some random actor sitting in the crowd."Kate G F replied: Or the so called royals. What an anachronistic bunch!13D

Comment posted by dai, today at 16:47dai

16:47Great final. Well done Ash Barty! Great to hear a grunt less final too.303K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:07Kate G F

17:07to dai"Great final. Well done Ash Barty! Great to hear a grunt less final too."Kate G F replied: It was an OK final. Pliskova was too nervous at the start. Barty also played well below her best. Some good rallies though. Parts of sets 2 and 3 were good.10More replies (3)downG

Comment posted by Gunner-Idiot, today at 16:25Gunner-Idiot

16:25A well deserved winner on reflection of the 2 weeks really. Well done AB273K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 16:42Kate G F

16:42to Gunner-Idiot"A well deserved winner on reflection of the 2 weeks really. Well done AB"Kate G F replied: Classy Aussie champion. As always116More replies (8)downQ

Comment posted by quality over rubbish please, today at 17:24quality over rubbish please

17:24Thank you Tom Cruise for letting the Centre Court know you where there, just as Barry was to service for the match. BBC cameramen has responsibilities, yet they are obsessed with celebrities, people asleep, drinking, eating, waving to the camera. The camera. Should be on the players! Modern day obsession with me, me, celebrities. Pathetic really.253P

Reply posted by parkylane street, today at 17:26parkylane street

17:26to quality over rubbish please"Thank you Tom Cruise for letting the Centre Court know you where there, just as Barry was to service for the match. BBC cameramen has responsibilities, yet they are obsessed with celebrities, people asleep, drinking, eating, waving to the camera. The camera. Should be on the players! Modern day obsession with me, me, celebrities. Pathetic really."parkylane street replied: not at all Wimbledon chiefs won’t be in the least bit upset that the Beeb has been bigging them up showing us the showbiz folk that attend13More replies (3)downL

Comment posted by Ling Liu LFC GBR China 88-Present, today at 16:52Ling Liu LFC GBR China 88-Present

16:52Why are there football comments on a tennis HYS? A few sexist comments too. If you don’t like tennis then watch something else!287D

Reply posted by david, today at 17:03david

17:03to Ling Liu LFC GBR China 88-Present"Why are there football comments on a tennis HYS? A few sexist comments too. If you don’t like tennis then watch something else!"david replied: Racist522More replies (7)downC

Comment posted by cotswolds, today at 16:45cotswolds

16:45Excellent outcome for the ladies singles tournament. Congrats to Ashleigh. I hope she wins many more GS titles193K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 16:58Kate G F

16:58to cotswolds"Excellent outcome for the ladies singles tournament. Congrats to Ashleigh. I hope she wins many more GS titles"Kate G F replied: She will end up with at least 7 to 9 slams by the end of her career.37More replies (2)downP

Comment posted by peteandel, today at 16:32peteandel

16:32Well done Barty. What a surprise, Beckham popping up again trying to get media attention. Why can’t he accept that he is one of thousands of EX-footballers. And why do the media keep feeding his ego by showing him at every event he can get to? Obviously still desperate for the elusive knighthood.3824A

Reply posted by andyp, today at 16:37andyp

16:37to peteandel"Well done Barty. What a surprise, Beckham popping up again trying to get media attention. Why can’t he accept that he is one of thousands of EX-footballers. And why do the media keep feeding his ego by showing him at every event he can get to? Obviously still desperate for the elusive knighthood."andyp replied: Maybe just maybe he went to enjoy a tennis match ?3414More replies (5)downB

Comment posted by BeRealfun, today at 16:41BeRealfun

16:41Congratulations Ashleigh

You made us proud 🥇130K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:32Kate G F

17:32to BeRealfun"Congratulations Ashleigh You made us proud 🥇"Kate G F replied: She is a great Aussie champ. They always make us proud. Too bad the Wimby crowd could not have the class of a Melbourne crowd13More replies (1)downI

Comment posted by Irons45, today at 16:27Irons45

16:27Really enjoyable final to great players
Barty is a deserved champion and loved how much she showed appreciation to her team196K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 16:45Kate G F

16:45to Irons45"Really enjoyable final to great players Barty is a deserved champion and loved how much she showed appreciation to her team"Kate G F replied: She personifies class. Very typically Aussie.
And winning on the 50th anniversary of EGC’s win, which she aimed for and achieved. What a champ!

Wimby crowd could have used some class but they know how to boo Novak, Barty, Serena, AndyM, Osaka. This is how they roll.824More replies (4)downP

Comment posted by Peter North, today at 17:26Peter North

17:26thank goodness its not williams again. anyone but serena.166K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:37Kate G F

17:37to Peter North"thank goodness its not williams again. anyone but serena."Kate G F replied: She already won 23 slams and is the greatest.

Oh, Serena by herself won 5 times more slams than all the English players together in their lifetime611More replies (5)downT

Comment posted by The Cloud, today at 17:03The Cloud

17:03A fascinating contest between two great players who, probably because it was their first Wimbledon final, didn’t play their best tennis. However, it made it an edge-of-the-seat match. After Pliskova’s 6-0 6-0 defeat in the Rome final, it looked at 0-4 in the first set as if we might get a repeat, but she eventually got going and we had a match. Two worthy finalists but Barty was a deserved winner.111M

Comment posted by mark, today at 17:25mark

17:25Well done Ash Barty! Well worth the late night watch here in Melbourne:))90T

Comment posted by Tomas 33, today at 17:05Tomas 33

17:05A most enjoyable final from both the players..I constantly was surprised when I saw the speed of the first services which were well over the 100 mph and the sliced backhand of Barty is the best on grass since Ken Rosewall. Of course nerves play a part in any important final be it tennis or golf and the muscles tense up just enough to make errors. A match played in great spirit with a good crowd.101More commentsBack to topunknown
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