WIMBLEDON, England — After spending nearly a year at home in Australia, Ashleigh Barty packed her bags in March and flew to Europe with the sole aim of winning more Grand Slam tournaments.
On Saturday, after four straight months on the road, the world No.1 tennis player got back to what she came for. With a dominant performance, Barty beat Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, to add her first Wimbledon title at Roland Garros which she won in 2019.
Barty, 25, also became Australia’s first women’s singles champion at Wimbledon since mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980. Barty was torn on the court at the mere mention of her after the match.
Pliskova, former world No.1 herself, couldn’t hide her nerves as she chased after a first major title. On the browning grass of center court, she simply froze. Pliskova lost the first 14 points of the game and found herself behind by a set in just 28 minutes. When she finally scored a point, the crowd in the stadium greeted her with a huge applause.
Pliskova settled into the game in the second set, harnessing the power that defines her game, full of soaring serves and heavy groundstrokes. Barty, meanwhile, maintained his mix of clean topspins and smart slices that grazed the grass to force the 6-foot-1 Pliskova all over the court.