Ashleigh Barty: World number one wins first Wimbledon title

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World number one Ashleigh Barty has won her first ever Wimbledon title after defeating Karolína Plíšková 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.

Australia’s Barty clinched the second Grand Slam of her career following victory at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this afternoon. The 25-year-old, who was appearing in her first Wimbledon Final, previously won the French Open in 2019.

Barty cruised through her first set against Plíšková, claiming the first 14 points of the match unanswered. Her Czech opponent then settled somewhat, but Barty was still able to win the opening set 6-3. 

Plíšková recovered in an extremely-close second set, showing resilience to take the tiebreaker and force the match into a third set. Barty emerged back on top here, however, holding off Plíšková's challenge to triumph 6-3 once again.

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Barty was the top seed for Wimbledon and had been considered the favourite for the tournament. The Grand Slam has always been a coveted prize for the Australian, who often says she spends the tennis calendar counting down the days until she returns to grass.

"This is incredible," she said after her victory. "It took me a long time to verbalise, to dare to dream it and say it."

Barty 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 KateÅ™ina 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.

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Her concluding victory came against Czech Republic’s Plíšková, who was also competing in her first Wimbledon Final. The 29-year-old, who is yet to win a Grand Slam, is the world number 13 and was eighth seed at Wimbledon this year.

Plíšková had booked a place in the Final with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka, having defeated Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-2 in the quarter-finals. 

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. Her most recent Grand Slam victory will consolidate her status as the best women's tennis player in the world right now. She will next compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, before going for a third Grand Slam title at the US Open. 

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