Ashleigh Barty up a set and break over Karolina Pliskova-Sports News , Justnewsday
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Preview: Ash Barty will be trying to win a second trophy in her past seven Grand Slam tournaments when she faces Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon on Saturday.
Pliskova seeks her first major championship, five years after losing in her only previous Slam final.
In matching up against No 1 seed Barty after eliminating No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals, Pliskova hopes to do something only three women managed to accomplish since the Open era began 53 years ago: beat the top two seeds en route to the title at the All England Club.
Venus Williams pulled that off twice, actually — in 2000 (defeating No 1 Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals, then No 2 Lindsay Davenport in the final) and in 2005 (defeating No. 2 Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals, then No 1 Davenport in the final).
The only other examples go back at least a half-century: Ann Jones in 1969 and Evonne Goolagong in 1971.
Goolagong’s second Wimbledon title in 1980 was the most recent for an Australian at the All England Club. Like Goolagong, Barty has indigenous roots; they’ve known each other for more than a decade and Barty is wearing a skirt-and-shirt outfit this fortnight inspired by Goolagong’s dress from 41 years ago.
Pliskova came close to the 1-2 double at the 2016 US Open, too, eliminating No 1 Serena Williams in the semi-finals before getting beaten by No 2 Angelique Kerber in three sets in the final. Kerber’s victory at Flushing Meadows pushed her up to No 1 in the rankings.
Pliskova is aware that she trails her next opponent 5-2 head-to-head — including three wins in a row for Barty — and knows what awaits in terms of the tennis.
Barty’s lone major title so far came on red clay at the 2019 French Open, and, like Pliskova, she’d never been past the fourth round at the All England Club until this week.
With inputs from AP.
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