Ashleigh Barty won her first Wimbledon title, defeating Karolina Pliskova in a tense final to become Australia’s first women’s champion in 41 years.
On the 50th anniversary of idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s maiden win here, Barty won the first 14 points to take an early lead in a 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 victory.
“This is incredible,” Barty said, falling to her knees in tears, “It took a long time for me to verbalize, to dare to dream and say it.”
“I didn’t sleep a lot last night,” she said to the Centre Court crowd after climbing into the stands to hug her team. “I was pondering all the what-ifs. I hope I did Evonne justice. I have to thank every single person in this stadium. You’ve made my dream so special.”
Both women were making their debuts in the final of a grass-court Grand Slam for the first time since 1977, which may help to explain the match’s rollercoaster nature.
After a flying start from Barty, Czech Pliskova settled into the second set, rediscovering her big serve before errors crept back in the third.
In the 12th game of the second set, Barty had a chance to serve out the victory, 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 set, which proved decisive as she added the Wimbledon trophy to the one she won at the French Open in 2019.