Karolina Pliskova returns from a set-down to defeat Aryna Sabalenka and advances to her first Wimbledon final… where she takes on the world’s number 1 Ashleigh Barty
- Karolina Pliskova defeated Aryna Sabalenka in Wimbledon final
- Pliskova came back from a set-down to beat the 23-year-old 5-7 6-4 6-4
- Pliskova will now face the world’s number 1 Ashleigh Barty in the 2021 final on Saturday
Karolina Pliskova has defeated Aryna Sabalenka to advance to the Wimbledon final.
Pliskova – who cracked 14 aces and 32 winners – came back from a set-down on Thursday, beating her 23-year-old opponent 5-7 6-4 6-4.
Pliskova will now join Jana Novotna (1998) and Petra Kvitova (2011 and 2014) as the third Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles champion from the Czech Republic, when she takes the world number 1 in the 2021 final on Saturday. Ashleigh Barty meets.
Karolina Pliskova has defeated Aryna Sabalenka to advance to the Wimbledon final
Pliskova actually posed the biggest threat in the first set, forcing a total of eight breakpoints – at 2-2, 3-3 and 5-5 – but each time Sabalenka’s powerful serve got her out of trouble.
Sabalenka, on the other hand, hadn’t come close to Pliskova’s serve until the eighth seed made a volley with the whole field to aim for.
A ravishing drop volley from Sabalenka then delivered a lone point for the set – and an early double-fault from Pliskova wrapped it up for her.
Pliskova eventually made a punch at 2-2 in the second, delivering three more breakpoints and nailing the first with a perfect return to feet that only Sabalenka could scrape into the net.
Pliskova came back from one set-down, beating Sabalenka (above) 5-7 6-4 6-4 on Thursday
She will face the world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty (above) in the 2021 final that takes place on Saturday zaterdag
The 29-year-old backed up the break with three aces to take a 4-2 lead, confidently serving the set and making an ideal start to the decider with a break and a confident hold.
After the game, Pliskova said: ‘I’m in the final, so I think it’s incredible. It was a great game from both of us, I got a little frustrated but she served unbelievably – she was in a semi final so had to play great tennis. I’m super happy I found a way to win
“It’s hard to enjoy because she plays so fast you don’t have time to think about what you want to do, winners were fast, mistakes too, but it was super important to stay in the games and stay focused .
“It’s hard when you don’t do well to stay positive, but my teams are super positive, thanks to them I’ve managed to stay calm and I trust my game – I’ve had success in the past so it’s not like I forgot how to play tennis.’
As nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova told the BBC: “Sabalenka has just started, she played a great opponent, she’s coming back.
“Pliskova just played a better game and served beautifully, she played so well under pressure.”
Nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova (above) said: ‘Pliskova just played a better game and served beautifully’, before adding that ‘Sabalenka is just starting’
Pliskova will now face Jana Novotna (1998) (above) and Petra Kvitova (2011 and 2014) as the third Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles champion from the Czech Republic
Former UK No. 1 Annabel Croft added: ‘Sometimes you see a player doing a bit of a tailspin with his form and they start throwing caution to the wind. Karolina Pliskova is probably an example of this.
“You know there’s a determined character behind that languid style she has. In 2018, when she won Eastbourne, everyone said she would win Wimbledon that year and maybe that touched her.
“This year she’s gotten a little under the radar in the tournament.”
Pliskova will confidently enter the final as she tops the women’s charts for six rounds with 54 aces. Sabalenka (52) is in second place, while Ashleigh Barty (46) is in third place.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Tracy Austin praised Pliskova’s coach Sascha Bajin (above) for getting her and others to the peak of their careers
However, this will be only her second Grand Slam final and her first since the 2016 US Open, where she finished second.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Tracy Austin shared her thoughts on the upcoming final, saying: ‘Ashleigh Barty has won her last three games against Karolina Plisvoka.
“I think the final might be a bit of a serving clinic as these two players lead the aces on the WTA tour. For whoever wins that day, it will be a life-changing experience.”
Before praising Pliskova’s coach for taking her and others to the peak of their careers.
She said: ‘A lot of credit should go to Karolina Pliskova’s coach, Sascha Bajin. Every player who has worked with him has improved and she is no different.
“It’s great to see both Pliskova and fellow finalist Ashleigh Barty play the matches of their lives to reach their first Wimbledon final.”