Ash Barty's path to the Wimbledon final

Aussie ace Ash Barty marched to the Wimbledon title for the loss of only two sets.
Aussie ace Ash Barty marched to the Wimbledon title for the loss of only two sets.


First round - beat Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 6-1 6-7 (1-7) 6-1

An emotional occasion with Barty opening proceedings on Tuesday on Centre Court, filling in for the traditional spot usually taken by the defending champion. With Simona Halep injured, the Australian was given the honour against cancer survivor Suarez Navarro and delivered an uneven performance, with a surprise second-set loss sandwiched by two fairly poetic stanzas which looked a good omen for her.

Stats - 1hr 44min, Barty served 13 aces, 38 winners, 36 unforced errors, 5 breaks of opponent's serve, 1 own serve broken

Second round - beat Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-4 6-3

Barty conceded it hadn't been her best day at the office as she coughed up nine double-faults on Centre Court and made heavier weather of her beating the resilient young world No.89 than she would have liked. "A few things didn't feel quite right today. That's half the battle in sport, being able to find a way when it's not feeling all that great."

Stats - 1hr 30min, 5 aces, 33 winners, 33 unforced errors, 6 breaks, 3 times broken

Third round - beat Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-3 7-5

A third straight match on Centre saw Barty step up a gear against the in-form Czech, who'd recently reached a grass-court final in Strasbourg, largely dominating before stuttering only briefly with the winning line in sight, when she was broken while serving for the match at 5-4. "Happy to be able to play some good stuff," proclaimed Barty, who seemed to be warming to her quest.

Stats - 1hr 37min, 8 aces, 26 winners, 23 unforced errors, 4 breaks, 2 times broken

Fourth round - beat Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 7-5 6-3

A huge hurdle to overcome on No.1 Court against the player on the hottest run in world tennis after 15 straight wins for 14th seed Krejcikova that included her glorious fairytale French Open triumph. Yet in a captivating battle of wits and skills between two of the sport's brightest grandmasters on Barty's first outing away from Centre, she overcame an early scare when she saved break points to prevent herself from going 5-2 down in the first set to go on and outplay the Czech.

Stats - 1hr 35 mins, 7 aces, 22 winners, 24 unforced errors, 4 breaks, 2 times broken

Quarter-final - beat Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-1 6-3

The battle between Australia's top two women players in their first-ever meeting turned out to be a wholly one-sided affair as world No.75 Tomljanovic, who'd done well to reach her first-ever grand slam quarter-final, found the gap in class too much to cope with, being snared by the wicked Barty slice and the 17 top-spin forehand winners.

Stats - 1hr 6min, 5 aces, 23 winners, 22 unforced errors, 6 breaks, 2 times broken

Semi-final - Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-3 7-6 (7-3)

Barty reckoned that taming the rejuvenated 2018 champion on Centre was the "ultimate test" as she had to repel Kerber's vintage second-set fightback, which saw the German left-hander go 5-2 up, with her very best stuff. "As good as a tennis match as I'll ever play," she shrugged.

Stats - 1hr 27min, 8 aces, 38 winners, 16 unforced errors, 2 breaks, 1 broken

Final - Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3

Barty reached her dream by effectively having to win the final twice. After dominating the first set, with the Czech No.8 seed so frozen with nerves that she dropped the first 14 points of the match. Pliskova found real resolve in the second set and cashed in when Barty, serving at 6-5, faltered and got unlucky in the subsequent tiebreak. In the decider, though, Barty always seemed in command as she annexed her second grand slam title.

Australian Associated Press