‘Close to as good as I’ll ever play’ – Barty downs Kerber to reach first Wimbledon final
Ashleigh Barty reached her first Wimbledon final with a straight sets triumph against former champion Angelique Kerber.
The world No. 1 prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) over 2018 winner Kerber on Centre Court in the semi-finals of The Championships.
The 25-year-old will face either Aryna Sabalenka or Karolina Pliskova in the final – meaning it will be a title match between two first-time Wimbledon finalists.
“This is incredible, I think this is close to as good a tennis match I’ll ever play. I think Angie definitely brought the best out of me today and it was a hell of a match right from the first ball,” Barty said in her on-court interview.
“I knew it was gonna have to be that good just to compete with her. I’m incredibly proud of myself, my team and now we get a chance on Saturday to try to live out a childhood dream.
She’s through to the women’s singles final at #Wimbledon
Barty 6-3 7-6 (7-3) Kerber
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 8, 2021
“I’ve had an incredible journey, I’ve had ups and downs and everything in between. I wouldn’t changed one day or one moment. It’s been unique, it’s been incredible, tough.
“I’m enjoying every single day that we get to come out here and do what I love. Being able to play on the final Saturday here at Wimbledon is gonna be just the best experience ever.”
The Australian overcame a nervous start by saving two break points in the opening game of the match, before breaking the German in the following game.
Kerber saved a break point to avoid going 0-4 down, but was unable to convert a break point when Barty served the set out at 5-3.
The 25th seed made a strong start in the second set as she raced to a 3-0 lead, before she held from 15-40 to go 4-1 ahead.
Barty struck back with a break to love when Kerber served for the set at 5-3, as the set went to a tiebreak.
The 25-year-old top seed continued her momentum into the tiebreak as she surged to a 6-0 lead, before sealing a superb win on her fourth match point.
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