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Barty is the first Australian to win the Wimbledon women’s singles title since 1980

Barty’s party has begun.

Number 1 in the standings Ashleigh Barty beat Karolina Pliskova in three sets on Saturday, becoming the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since 1980. Her victory came 50 years after Barty’s idol, Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley, won won his first Wimbledon title.

“It took me a long time to verbalize the fact that I wanted to dare to dream it,” said 25-year-old Barty of her hopes at Wimbledon. “Being able to live my dream right now, with everyone here, made it better than I could ever have imagined.

“I didn’t get much sleep last night,” Barty said at the packed All England Club stadium after the game. “I was thinking about all the assumptions. But I think when I went out in this field, I felt at home, in a way.”

Going to the final, Barty was the favorite for the win – and the first few minutes of the match made Barty look like an inevitability. In just 11 minutes, she already had a 4-0 lead over 29-year-old Pliskova, who was struggling to show the skill that had brought her to the final.

Even though Pliskova managed to win three games in the first set, Barty looked poised for a quick win. But in the second set, Pliskova – the former world number 1 – found her foot. The Czech’s massive 6’1 “serve, absent at the start, began to make an appearance. Pliskova won a tie-break to lead the second set 7-6.

The next set would determine if Barty could take the women’s trophy home to Australia for the first time since Goolagong Cawley. “Keep fighting,” Barty said he was saying to himself. “I was really proud of myself that I was able to reset and move on.”

Barty won the third set 6-3.

“I hope I made Evonne proud,” Barty told the crowd, who responded with ecstatic applause.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To find out more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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