Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP
The Barty party has begun.
The No. 1 ranked Ashleigh Barty beat Karolina Pliskova in three sets on Saturday and became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since 1980. Her victory came 50 years after Barty’s idol, Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley, won her first Wimbledon title.
“It took me a long time to formulate the fact that I would dare dream it,” 25-year-old Barty said of her Wimbledon hopes. “Being able to live out my dream right now, with everyone here, has done better than I could have ever imagined.
“I did not sleep much last night,” Barty told the All England Club Stadium after the game. “I was thinking about everything if-but. But I think when I came out on this court, I felt at home in a way.”
Going into the final was Barty’s favorite to win – and the opening minutes of the match made a Barty championship seem inevitable. In just 11 minutes, she already had a 4-0 lead over 29-year-old Pliskova, who struggled to show the skill that had led her to the final.
Although Pliskova managed to equalize three matches in the first set, Barty looked ready to cross a quick victory. But in the second set, Pliskova – the world’s former No. 1 – found her footing. 6’1 “The Czech Republic’s massive serve, absent at the start, began to appear. Pliskova won a tiebreaker to carry the second set 7-6.
The next set would determine whether Barty could bring the women’s trophy home to Australia for the first time since Goolagong Cawley. “Keep fighting,” Barty said as she said to herself. “I was really proud of myself that I was able to reset and just keep going.”
Barty won the third set 6-3.
“I hope I made Evonne proud,” Barty said to the crowd, who responded with applause.