It will be a contrast of styles in the Ladies Final at Wimbledon on Saturday with Ashleigh Barty seeking her second grand slam following her 2019 French Open win. A resurgent Karolina Pliskova stands in the way of the Australian, who has ensured her departure from the top 10 has lasted no time at all with her run to the final.
After so many struggles, Pliskova has finally produced the type of performances that saw her become World No.1 four years ago. The Czech had been serving immensely all fortnight and kept that up against Aryna Sabalenka in the semis. Pliskova could have buckled under the pressure easily having lost the opening set of the Belarussian despite having eight break points to Sabalenka’s one. However, she held firm and pulled off the 5-7 6-4 6-4 come back win while denying her opponent any opportunity for a break point in the final two sets. “It was more about, just to be quick, ready, low of course, and to put as many balls back as I can,” Pliskova said on the match. “Of course, to hold the serve. To be patient, which is tough, especially for me. But, yeah, worked out in the end.”
Barty put in a stellar performance to earn her first Wimbledon final, coming from a break down in the second set to seal a 6-3 7-6 win. The Australian dragged Kerber about the court and used the slice to great effort, eventually grinding the German down. She won 10 straight points from *2-5 40-40 to tie it up before running away with the tiebreak at the end of the set. She put up some immense stats too, hitting 38 winners to just 16 unforced errors – a stark contrast to some of her earlier matches.
Barty is peaking at the right time and will be hard to beat if she keeps her level as consistent as she usually does. The Australian is just an incredibly efficient player who knows how and when to move while having the weapons to finish points out. Pliskova does have the chance if she serves lights out as she has done for most of the tournament but Barty will be far more effective at getting returns in than any of the aggressive players the Czech has played so far. Barty leads the head to head 5-2 as well as winning the last three, including once this year at Stuttgart.
Prediction – Ashleigh Barty in straight sets