2021 Wimbledon: Ashleigh Barty claims second major title with victory over Karolina Pliskova
Barty kisses the Venus Rosewater dish/Photo: AELTC/Simon Bruty - Pool/Getty Images

Top seed Ashleigh Barty has won her second Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 victory over eighth seed Karolina Pliskova in the Wimbledon final on Center Court.

The Aussie took the first 14 points of the match and cruised to the opening set. She led 6-5 in the second set and served for the championship before the Czech struck back and pulled the set out in a tiebreaker.

Barty regained her composure and raced out to a 3-0 lead in the third set and eventually closed out the match in one hour, 55 minutes, becoming the first Australian woman to win at the All-England Club since Evonne Goolagong in 1980.

Barty outlasts Pliskova in gripping final

It was the perfect start for the world number one as she bolted out of the gates, breaking to love in the second game of the match with the shot that has become the most lethal in women's tennis: her forehand.

In the fourth game, Pliskova finally won a game, but it didn't matter much as she double-faulted on break point to hand Barty a second break and with it, a 4-0 advantage.

Three straight breaks followed, two of them by the eighth seed, but it wasn't enough to change the outcome of the set as, given a second chance to close it out at 5-3, the top-seeded Aussie held to love to claim the early lead.

Barty's forehand was the dominant shot in the match/Photo: TPN/Getty Images
Barty's forehand was the dominant shot in the match/Photo: TPN/Getty Images

Barty seized the early lead in the second set, breaking to love as Pliskova began to again leak errors. The Czech was able to break back, a fantastic forehand setting up triple break point and a forehand error by the top seed gave the eighth seed a lifeline.

Late in the second, the Barty slice began to take effect and she eventually broke to go in front 6-5, but Pliskova broke again and forced a tiebreaker, which she won 7-4 in large part to winning five straight points from 2-1 down. 

Pliskova battled back from the brink to force a deciding set/Photo: Peter Nicholls - Pool/Getty Images
Pliskova battled back from the brink to force a deciding set/Photo: Peter Nicholls - Pool/Getty Images

One of the key moments of the third set was its opening game as Barty held a 40-0 lead on her serve only to watch the Czech rally back to deuce. A brilliant drop shot eventually led to a hold and a bigger boost than just winning one game.

That would prove to be evident as the top seed grabbed the decisive break on a bad miss from Pliskova on an easy volley. A subsequent hold gave Barty a 3-0 lead and she looked to again be heading towards the title.

Crucial errors at the wrong time led to the downfall of the eighth seed in the deciding set, another coming at 30-30 trailing 4-2. An ace closed out Pliskova's service game and she forced Barty to serve for the title at 5-3.

The world number one netted her own volley to bring up break point for the Czech. Another error brought the game back to deuce, an ace by Barty gave her championship point and a final backhand miss by Pliskova meant the Aussie claimed a first major title in over two years.

Barty reacts following Championship point/Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Barty reacts following championship point/Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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