Ashleigh Barty and Karolína Plíšková booked their places in the Wimbledon 2021 Women’s Final after winning their respective semi-finals yesterday.
World number one Barty impressed with a relatively comprehensive 6-3, 7-6 victory over former Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber, while Plíšková came from one set down to defeat second seed Aryna Sabalenka 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
With just one day to go until Barty and Plíšková take to Centre Court for the last time this year, GiveMeSport Women looks at what we can expect from each player.
Barty is widely considered the favourite to win the Wimbledon title this year, and has been right from the start of the tournament. She is the world number one and top seed, and anything other than reaching the final would have been seen as a major disappointment.
The 25-year-old Australian has won one Grand Slam during her career so far, triumphing at the French Open in 2019. Wimbledon has always been a coveted prize for Barty, who often says she spends the tennis calendar counting down the days until she returns to grass. This is her first time in the Final at the All England Tennis Club.
Barty has only dropped one set on her journey to the Final, which came in a 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 opening round victory over Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro.
She then defeated Russia’s Anna Blinkova 6-4, 6-3, Czech Kateřina Siniaková 6-3, 7-5, and compatriot Ajla Tomljanović 6-1, 6-3. Once in the semi-final, Barty overcame Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6.
Barty has enjoyed a successful 2021 so far after returning from a coronavirus-enforced 11 month hiatus. She has won the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami Open and Stuttgart Open, but had to withdraw from the Italian Open and French Open through injury. These niggles seem very much in the past now, with Barty looking in dominant form at Wimbledon thus far.
Plíšková is also making her Wimbledon Final debut this weekend. She may be the underdog in her clash with Barty, but her number 13 world ranking and eighth seeding shows she is a player to be reckoned with.
At 29-years-old, Plíšková has appeared in one other Grand Slam final – the 2016 US Open – but she is yet to win a major title. She has never even got past the fourth round of Wimbledon previously, only reaching this stage in 2018 and 2019.
Despite her relative inexperience at the All England Tennis Club, Czech Republic’s Plíšková has only lost one set during the whole tournament so far.
She got past Slovenia’s Tamara Zidanšek 7-5, 6-4 in the first round, before comfortably beating Croatia’s Donna Vekić 6-2, 6-2. A 6-3, 6-3 victory against Czech teammate Tereza Martincová and a 6-2, 6-3 result against Russia’s Ludmilla Samsonova followed.
In the quarter-final, Plíšková eased past Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-2. A 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 semi-final triumph against Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka then booked her place in the Final.
Plíšková has had a mixed year so far, reaching the final of the Italian Open but dramatically losing 6-0, 6-0 to Poland’s Iga Świątek. The match had been the most one-sided Italian Open Final since 1983. Plíšková will be hoping to make history in a more positive way tomorrow.
The Wimbledon 2021 Women’s Final begins at 2pm UK time on Centre Court. It will be broadcast live on BBC One.News Now - Sport News