Ash Barty emulates Serena Williams with rare feat at Wimbledon

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·Sports Editor
·3-min read
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Ash Barty and Serena Williams, pictured here in 2021 and 2016.
Ash Barty is the first women's top seed to win Wimbledon since Serena Williams in 2016. Image: Getty

Ash Barty has become the first women's top seed to win Wimbledon since the great Serena Williams did so back in 2016.

Barty lived up to her billing as World No.1 by winning her second career grand slam title in a pulsating three-set victory over Karolina Pliskova in the Wimbledon final on Saturday.

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Just like her idol and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley first did half a century ago, Barty clinched the Venus Rosewater Dish with a 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 victory on Centre Court.

In doing so, the Aussie star set a number of unique records.

She became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since Goolagong Cawley in 1980.

She also became the first women's top seed to claim the Venus Rosewater Dish since Serena five years ago.

In fact, Barty is just the fourth female player to win a grand slam as World No.1 since 2010 - joining Serena, Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep.

Barty is the fourth female player in the Open era to win Wimbledon after also winning the junior Wimbledon crown, joining Ann Jones, Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo.

And remarkably, Barty is only the 11th female player in the Open era to win the French Open and Wimbledon.

The others are Margaret Court, Goolagong Cawley, Serena, Halep, Maria Sharapova, Steffi Graf, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Garbine Muguruza.

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Career grand slam not out of the question for Ash Barty

Barty could conceivably arrive at the Australian Open in January chasing a coveted career grand slam.

Her courageous and captivating Wimbledon triumph, two years after claiming the French Open crown, has raised the genuine prospect of the World No.1 joining legends Court, Serena, Graf, Navratilova and Evert as the only women in the 53-year era of professional tennis to win all four grand slam events.

And she could have the chance to complete the fabled feat at her home slam in Melbourne before she even turns 26.

Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova, pictured here with their trophies after the Wimbledon final.
Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova pose with their trophies after the Wimbledon final. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

Barty's spectacular success on London's hallowed grass courts over the past fortnight, after entering the tournament under a serious fitness cloud, has even caught her long-time coach Craig Tyzzer somewhat by surprise.

"I have always felt she was probably going to win either the US or Aussie Open on the hard court," Tyzzer said.

"I felt that some of her best tennis has been on hard courts. We probably play on them more. That is probably why.

"But clay, she has never felt overly comfortable - but her game suits it, definitely.

"I also think with grass, with Wimbledon now being slower than it used to be, it certainly suits someone with a slice game, someone who has got some variety, someone who is able to adapt their game to the tricky conditions.

"I am not surprised she has done well on the other two surfaces that I thought of, but I always felt that on a hard court, because we play more, she has had some more success there."

Barty's stunning Wimbledon victory sets the scene for a fascinating US Open starting next month.

If she can back up her 2018 doubles triumph at Flushing Meadows, she will head to Melbourne Park with the chance to join the all-time greats of tennis as the winner of all four slams.

with AAP

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