Ashleigh Barty said she would be able to experience for real a childhood dream of playing in the Wimbledon final after she produced an impressive display to beat 2018 winner Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) on Thursday.
The 25-year-old Australian will play either former world number one Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic or Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka in Saturday’s final.
“Angelique brought the best out of me and now I have a chance on Saturday to live out a childhood dream,” said Barty in the immediate aftermath of her victory.
Barty is the first Australian woman to reach the final since her idol and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second Wimbledon title in 1980.
“It’s incredible, it was as close to as good a tennis match that I have ever played,” said Barty who fired eight aces and 38 winners.
“It was a hell of a match from the first ball.” “I am really proud of myself and my team. It’s been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs.”
Barty recovered from 1-4 down in the second set to triumph and move one win away from capturing a second Grand Slam title after her 2019 French Open victory.
Barty was able to put together a sequence of winning points that Kerber was unable to match — twice rattling off 10 points in a row.
Kerber, also a former Australian Open and US Open champion, saw her 10-match win streak end at the hands of Barty.
However, the 33-year-old will be encouraged that she has perhaps turned around a slump which began after her 2018 Wimbledon triumph.
Thursday’s semi-final appearance was her best performance at a Grand Slam since that title victory three years ago.—AFP