Ashleigh Barty is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her childhood idol by winning Wimbledon today, 41 years on from Evonne Goolagong Cawley. The last Australian woman to win Wimbledon, Barty has paid tribute to Cawley throughout the tournament with her skirt and top, similar to the one worn by her compatriot in her victorious 1971 final.
With today marking the 50th anniversary of Goolagong Cawley’s first triumph, Barty said: “To give myself a chance to create some history that’s almost like a tribute to her is really exciting. It’s a really special anniversary for Evonne.”
Looking to deny her is the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova, the former world No 1 who is only into the second Grand Slam final of her career.
She lost the 2016 US Open final but is hoping to go one better this time around in what is by far her best run at SW19. She had never previously progressed past the fourth round of this tournament.
“I think I still half can’t believe it,” Pliskova admitted of her Wimbledon run thus far.
“Coming into this tournament, the dream was to make the second week because I was not in the second week for a while. I never thought about maybe going into the final.”
You can follow live updates of Barty vs Pliskova with Express Sport below.
Barty 4-1 Pliskova*
Centre court cheers as Pliskova finally gets on the board.
A loose game from the Aussie but it should not matter in this set at least.
We may finally have a match here.
*Barty 4-0 Pliskova
The Czech is broken once more after a double fault hands Barty the game.
Pliskova may have managed to win her first points of the match but it doesn’t matter.
This first set is all but over for the world No 13.
Barty 3-0 Pliskova*
Another hold to love for Barty.
Pliskova has still not managed to win a point in this match.
*Barty 2-0 Pliskova
A nightmare start for Pliskova who’s been all at sea in these first two games.
Barty breaks to love with a stunning backhand down the line.
Barty 1-0 Pliskova*
A solid start for Barty as she holds to love.
If the Aussie continues to serve like this it’s going to be a long afternoon for the Czech.
2:10pm: Both players have warmed up and are now getting ready for action.
Barty to serve.
2:00pm: The players are out on court now and warming up for the biggest match of their careers.
Pliskova looks the more relaxed of the two players but she always does!
And by the way, what a wonderful sight it is to have a full capacity crowd for this final.
John McEnroe on the BBC believes this match will go the distance and has picked Barty to edge it.
Both players were out practising next to each other earlier on…
1:40pm: “Nobody even mentioned her name coming into this tournament,” 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert makes a good point on the BBC about Pliskova.
It really has been a poor season for the Czech until this point but she’s turned it around to reach her first Wimbledon final.
1.30pm: World No 1 Barty has seen off Anna Blinkova, Katerina Siniakova, Barbora Krecjikova, Ajla Tomljanovic and Angelique Kerber to reach this stage.
While Pliskova has defeated Donna Vekic, Tereza Martincova, Ludmilla Samsonova, Viktorija Golubic and Aryna Sabalenka to get to the final.
The Australian and the Czech have met seven times before this, with Barty coming out on top five times to Pliskova’s two.
But will that matter today? Pliskova will certainly hope not, though she has lost all of the last three meetings.
1.15pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the Wimbledon women’s final.
Will it be Ashleigh Barty or Karolina Pliskova who come out victorious this afternoon?
Stick with us to find out as we cover the action game-by-game from the Wimbledon Centre Court.
The match gets underway at 2pm UK time.