By PA Sport Staff
Ashleigh Barty overcame her own nerves and opponent Karolina Pliskova to end Australia’s four-decade long wait for a Wimbledon women’s singles champion.
With both women playing in their first final at the All England Club, it was no surprise there was tension on both sides of the court, but Centre Court was treated to a first three-set final since 2012, which ended with the world number one winning a second grand slam title.
Barty’s 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-3 victory saw her emulate friend and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley 50 years on from her first Wimbledon title while wearing an outfit inspired by that moment.
Barty started at breakneck speed, winning the first 14 points of the match to race into a 4-0 lead.
Czech Pliskova finally got on the board with a break to love to settle some nerves, but Barty clinched the opening set 6-3 in just 28 minutes.
Back-to-back double faults from Pliskova gave Barty a break for 2-1 at the start of the second set.
But the world number 13 hit back with a scorching forehand pass to bring up break point and level the set.
Barty came from 40-0 down to break in the 11th game, but nerves got the better of her as she served for the match, allowing Pliskova to force a tie-break.
And Pliskova delighted the crowd by taking the breaker 7-4 and levelling the match.
After digging herself out one hole, Pliskova dived into another with a double fault and a volley into the net, handing Barty the break in the decider.
This time she had run out of lives, Barty saving a break point before going on to wrap up victory.
Following the well-worn tradition started by fellow Australian Pat Cash in 1987, an emotional Barty climbed into the stands to hug her team, including coach Craig Tyzzer.
The trophies were presented by Kate Middleton, who was attending the match after completing a period of self-isolation.