Comment: From humble beginnings in Queensland to tears of joy at Wimbledon for Ashleigh Barty
Inevitably, the tears flowed on both sides of the net after a compelling Ladies’ Final at Wimbledon, with emotions as much as talent stretched to breaking point on Centre Court.
The tennis world will unite in joy at the sight of the wonderfully engaging Ashleigh Barty getting her hands on the trophy she always dreamed of winning as she made her way up the tennis ladder from humble beginnings in Queensland, Australia.
Here is a champion tennis can be proud of and while her nerves were frayed and severed on several occasions in her 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 win against an equally nervous Karolina Pliskova, the better player finally won the last point.
“I hope I made Evonne proud”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2021
With Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise looking on from the stands and a real sense of theatre enveloping a packed Centre Court, the quality of the tennis didn’t quite match the magnitude of the occasion and yet that was understandable for two ladies trying to win the biggest prize in tennis.
Such was the unease being displayed by Pliskova at the start that she lost the first 14 points of the match and was 4-0 down in double quick time, with those of us fortunate to have a prized seat in the Wimbledon press box scrambling for the stats on the shortest final in Wimbledon history.
If that woeful start had carried on for much longer, Pliskova could have lost in double quick time if she had not found a way to hit through her nerves and by the end of the first set, the contest had begun in earnest.
What a wonderful follow up to Evonne’s win on the 50th anniversary.
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) July 10, 2021
Barty served for the match in the second and then lost a thrilling tie-break to take it into a decider, but there was always a sense that her opponent was susceptible to cracking every time pressure was applied and so it proved in a one-sided third set.
This was a moment to savour for Barty, who famously took time away from tennis a few years back before making a successful return and former British No 1 Annabel Croft saluted her journey.
“When you’ve watched someone go through so much in their tennis life, then needed to get away from it, and then to come back and win Wimbledon – it is the stuff of dreams, almost the stuff of movies,” Croft told the BBC.
“With her team and her physios it was to the moment of every day, and they only had a set amount of time to get that hip ready.
“She was a little undercooked and it did take her those early rounds to get her game going again, but my goodness at the end it was sensational.”
Aussie legend Rod Laver, outgoing champion Simona Halep and former champion Petra Kovitova were among those offering words of congratulations to Barty on Twitter and she deserves every ounce of praise.
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) July 10, 2021
For a young lady that left her Australian homeland several month ago to embark on a journey around a world that has changed so much amid the Covid pandemic to achieve her dream has taken sacrifice, dedication and nerve.
They are qualities that have helped to crown Ashleigh Barty a wonderful new Wimbledon champion.
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer
Andy Murray presented best chance yet to break 2024 duck by Qatar Open draw
Will Andy Murray finally win in Qatar.
Jannik Sinner takes another leap in his quest to be ATP No 1 with Rotterdam win
Jannik Sinner remains unbeaten in 2024 and will rise to a new career-high ranking after claiming the Rotterdam Open title.
Heartbroken Ons Jabeur pulls out of Dubai Tennis Championships
Ons Jabeur makes the tough call to end her Middle East swing.
Aryna Sabalenka has no intention of giving up winning habit as she lines up Dubai run
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka is eager to continue winning big titles and building her reputation and legacy.
Top seeds Carlos Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie handed rocky roads to redemption in Rio draw
Defending champion Cameron Norrie and top seed Carlos Alcaraz are both chasing redemption of sorts in Rio.
Who is Tommy Paul’s girlfriend? Model and influencer Paige Lorenze
Paige Lorenze has pivoted in her business direction to make the most of being a tennis partner.
Andy Murray provides incredible insight into mental aspect of facing Novak Djokovic in a final
“When it’s Novak on the other side of the net, you know, really, really difficult for them to win against him.”
WATCH: Carlos Alcaraz throws his racket after shock defeat as he reveals one area where he has to improve
Carlos Alcaraz admits he is “very far from his real level”
WTA Dubai draw: Iga Swiatek lands tricky draw as Aryna Sabalenka returns after Aus Open heroics
This way for your 2024 Dubai Tennis Championship draw featuring the top four players in the world.
Jannik Sinner to make history with huge rankings milestone and he will soon have Carlos Alcaraz in his sights
Jannik Sinner assured of becoming the first Italian man to reach No 3 in the ATP Rankings.