Ash Barty beat Karolina Pliskova in a thrilling final to become the first woman from Down Under to win the singles title for 41 years on Saturday.
World No 1 Barty, like Goolagong, takes great pride in her indigenous heritage and has worn a scalloped-edged retro outfit in honour of the Australian trailblazer.
“I said just keep fighting,” Barty, whose participation at Wimbledon had been in doubt after she withdrew from the French Open last month with a hip injury, said on court after receiving the Venus Rosewater Dish.
🇦🇺 @ashbarty 🤝 Evonne Goolagong Cawley 🇦🇺
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2021
“Kaja (Karolina) brought out the very best of me today. It took me a long time to verbalise that I wanted to win this incredible tournament… being able to live out my dream right now is better then I ever could have imagined.
“I didn’t sleep a lot last night and as I was thinking of all the what ifs but I felt at home out on the court. I hope I made Evonne proud.”
She became the first World No 1 to win the Wimbledon title since Serena Williams in 2016.
The 25-year-old looked on course for an embarrassingly easy triumph as Pliskova suffered one of the worst starts ever seen in a Wimbledon final, but eventually needed her best to claim a 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 victory.
10 Years Later.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 10, 2021
After Pliskova struck a backhand into the net following one hour and 55 minutes of see-sawing action, Barty sank to her knees in realisation of fulfilling a childhood dream.
With tears running down her cheeks she then climbed into the stands towards her team, a tradition started by compatriot Pat Cash when he won the men’s singles in 1987.
She emulated her idol Evonne Goolagong who won the first of her two Wimbledon titles 50 years ago, before adding her second in 1980, since when no Australian woman had won the singles.