Ash Barty is usually so cool but a rare show of emotion from the Aussie revealed how much making the Wimbledon final truly means.
Ash Barty is through to the Wimbledon final after defeating Angelique Kerber in straight sets overnight.
The Aussie took out the match 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to progress to Saturday’s decider, hoping to claim her second career grand slam singles title after the 2019 French Open.
Barty becomes the first Australian woman to make the Wimbledon final since Evonne Goolagong Cawley achieved the feat in 1980.
There were plenty of twists and momentum swings in the match but Barty peaked when it mattered, steamrolling her way over Kerber in the second set tiebreak to keep alive her childhood dream of holding the trophy aloft at the All England Club.
Barty appeared overcome with emotion as she soaked up the applause of the Centre Court crowd and digested the significance of her achievement.
Commentator Jelena Dokic said “she got emotional there” — something we rarely see from Barty, who is usually so unflappable.
“This is incredible. This is close to as good a tennis match as I’ll ever play,” Barty said.
“Angie really brought the best out of me today.
“I’m incredibly proud of myself and my team and now I get the chance on Saturday to live out a total dream.”
Barty registered 38 winners and 16 unforced errors in the contest, saving five of six break points.
She will meet Karolina Pliskova who came from a set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka 5-7 6-4 6-4.
It will be the Czech’s second Grand Slam final appearance, having reaches the US Open final back in 2016.
Barty dominated the opening set but the second set started on a rocky note when the 25-year-old was broken to go down 0-2. She saved two break points but it wasn’t a case of third time lucky as she sprayed a forehand wide and gifted her opponent the upper hand.
In the blink of an eye Kerber raced to a 3-0 lead and was full of confidence. Things progressed to 4-2 and the 33-year-old then showed plenty of grit to hold a tough service game for 5-2.
At 5-3 Kerber was serving for the set but faltered badly, Barty breaking to love, securing the game with a forehand winner whipped cross-court.
The Queenslander was on song again, firing winners at will and squaring things up at 5-5. But Kerber was fist pumping when she held for 6-5, putting the pressure on Barty to stay in the set.
If she was feeling nervous, Barty didn’t show it, gliding through her service game for 6-6 and sending the set to a tiebreak.
Barty stormed ahead 6-0 before things got a little tense as Kerber won three points on the bounce. But the world No. 1 was never going to bottle it from there, holding steady to reach her first ever Wimbledon final.
Barty double faulted on the first point of the match and went down 15-40. But some clever slice backhands and cracking forehand winners – two of them taken as swinging volleys – saw her save two break points and hold for 1-0.
Kerber then wobbled in her first service game, butchering an overhead smash on break point to allow Barty to thump a winner down the line that earned her a 2-0 advantage, which soon became 3-0. In those first three games, the top seed had already scorched five forehand winners.
It was hardly convincing, but Kerber eventually got on the board when she held serve in the fourth game.
The German started to find her groove, particularly from the baseline, but Barty wasn’t letting up. She held to love for 5-2 then Kerber did the same, but she couldn’t claw back a break and the Australian took the first set 6-3.
Barty is looking to become the first No. 1 seed to win Wimbledon since American superstar Serena Williams in 2016.
The Queenslander is also aiming to become the fourth junior Wimbledon champion to win the Venus Rosewater Dish in the Open Era, joining Ann Jones, Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo.