Meet Ashleigh Barty first Australian woman to win Wimbledon singles title in 41 years
Ashleigh Barty clinched her first Wimbledon title after beating Karolina Pliskova 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 in the women’s final on Saturday. Barty is the first Australian woman to win the singles title since her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley won it in 1980.
“This is incredible,” said Barty.
“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.”
Did you know?
The 25-year-old, Ashleigh Barty, was the junior champion at Wimbledon a decade ago, before she took a break from tennis in 2014, citing lack of interest in the sport and burnout. But guess what she did during the time away from her professional sport? She simply traded her tennis racquet for a cricket bat!
She joined the Western Suburbs in the Brisbane Women’s Premier Cricket competition. In her debut T20 match itself, she scored an unbeaten 63 and took 2 for 13 in four overs, despite no competitive experience.
However, in 2016 she was back in the tennis fold, and she didn’t look back since.
2017 was the year that shaped Barty. From being outside the top 200 in January that year, she ended 2017 inside the top 20 and won the Malaysian Open – her first singles event.
Now, the world no. 1 Barty has 11 singles titles and 11 doubles titles on the WTA Tour, including a 2019 French Open win as well as a Grand Slam doubles title at the 2018 US Open with CoCo Vandeweghe.
Barty’s Wimbledon 2021 title, interestingly, came on the 50th anniversary of the first Wimbledon win for Evonne Goolagong Cawley, an Indigenous Australian like Barty and her idol. Cawley won it again in 1980. Barty had paid tribute to the tennis icon by wearing a dress inspired by her 1971 Wimbledon outfit. The scallop-hemmed skirt had flower accents along the right side – an exclusive design by FILA Tennis.
“It was an exceptional match right from the start, I knew I had to bring my very best level. I was really proud of myself with the way I was able to reset and just keep going.”
Written by Prithiva Gupta