Top-ranked Ash Barty defeated 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets to reach the All England Club final for the first time
Wimbledon, England – It can be hard for Ash Barty to imagine that the journey to her first Wimbledon final was nearing when she stopped playing at the French Open last month due to an injured hip.
Or even when she was two points away from being pushed in the third set by Angelique Kerber in her semi-final at the All England Club.
Barty doesn’t let the obstacles bother her for long. She finds a way out. So she is No. 1 and now beat 2018 champion Kerber 6-3, 7-6(3) on Thursday to win a second Grand Slam title.
“It’s been unique. It’s been incredible. It’s been tough. There’s a lot of things that led up to this point,” she told the Center Court audience. “Being able to play last Saturday here at Wimbledon will be the best experience ever.”
The opponent will be No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka or No. 8 Karolina Pliskova on Saturday. They met in the second semi-final.
Barty, 25, won the 2019 French Open for her maiden Grand Slam title.
On Thursday, she faced a major test in the second set, two points from owning Kerber when Barty worked on Deuce while trailing 5-2. The full-capacity crowd was also supporting the 33-year-old German’s comeback effort, “Come on, Angie!” with the slogan. and “Go on, Kerber!”
But Barty strengthened herself to hold there, then broke to reach within 5-4 with a cross-court forehand passing winner.
It was part of a 38–16 advantage in overall winners for Barty, which accounted for his victory more than anything else. And it was remarkable: He compiled several point-ending shots, making only 16 unforced errors.
“This is the best tennis match I’ll ever play,” Barty said. “Angie definitely brought out the best of me today.”
It was an entertaining and, point-to-point, but also contested, two talented baseliners ready to try a volley, drop shot or lob if required. They were equal to each other for long exchanges – in total, 22 points lasted at least nine strokes, with Kerber winning a dozen.
However their perspectives are different. Kerber is a left-handed player who hits flat groundstrokes and is fine with handling low shots of enemies, often leaving his knees on the field to gain leverage.
Barty is a right who relies on heavy topspin for a power-packed forehand, and his slice backhand can create a difficult bounce on the grass.
She finished with an 8-0 lead in aces and 18-9 in forehand winners.
More AP Tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports