Ash Barty on cusp of rare Serena Williams Wimbledon feat

Ash Barty (pictured right) walking off Centre Court after her Wimbledon win and (pictured left) Serena Williams with the Wimbledon trophy.
Ash Barty (pictured right) is looking to become the first woman since Serena Williams (pictured left) in 2016 to be ranked No.1 seed to win Wimbledon. (Getty Images)

World No.1 Ash Barty produced arguably her best match of 2021 after she brushed off a spirited Angelique Kerber to march into the Wimbledon final and a host of historic achievements are in reach for the Aussie.

Barty became the first Aussie woman since Evonne Goolagong Cawley - who won the title in 1971 and 1980 - to make the Wimbledon final after a scintillating 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) win over the German three-time major winner.

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Living up to her World No.1 billing, the 25-year-old put in her best match of the tournament against a player she admitted before the match would provide the "ultimate test".

And her achievement to reach the Wimbledon final puts her one step closer to a number of records.

If Barty win on Saturday, she will become the first woman seeded No.1 to win Wimbledon since Serena Williams lived up to her seeding in 2016.

Barty will also become just the fourth person to win both the junior Wimbledon title and the pro title.

She will join tennis legends Ann Jones, Martina Hingis and Amelia Mauresmo if she is to achieve the feat.

Ash Barty to face Karolina Pliskova in final

In truth, that ultimate test is yet to come on Saturday when Barty will tackle Karolina Pliskova, the tall, big-serving Czech who blitzed 14 aces as she tamed Aryna Sabalenka 5-7 6-4 6-4 in the other power-packed semi-final.

In a remarkable rivalry the pair first faced each other back in 2012 in the juniors at Nottingham.

A 16-year-old Barty won the match, before going on to win the title.

Since their first meeting as youngsters, Barty has won four out of their last six matches.

This included a recent meeting in the Stuttgart quarter-final in a close three-set match.

Following Pliskova's victory, she addressed her record against the Australian.

"I know I lost couple times, but every time it was kind of close match, a good match actually. I never played a horrible match against her," Pliskova said.

But she also doubled down and said she relishes the challenge against the best in the world.

So far, my second final, second time I'm playing against a player No.1," Pliskova said.

"But, no, I think it can't be any better than that. You want to play the best player in the final. Of course, I don't want anybody else but her there.

"We've had some good matches. Of course, I lost a couple times. But I think she has extremely difficult game to play. It's going to be difficult on grass because of her slice and just her game overall."

with AAP

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