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Aussie star takes the first set 6-3

Wimbledon 2021, women’s singles final: Ash Barty starts on fire against Karolina Pliskova

06.10 pm: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the first singles final in two years at the famous courts of Wimbledon! The women’s singles title clash is a tantalising one in prospect. We are all so used to upsets in the draw in recent times, that it feels pretty significant to have the current world No 1 take on the former world No 1: it’s Ash Barty vs Karolina Pliskova tonight in London.

The 25-year-old world number one produced her best performance of The Championships so far to beat 2018 champion Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6 (7/3). Barty will play former world number one Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in Saturday’s final. Barty had never progressed further than the fourth round at Wimbledon despite having form on grass as she was junior champion in 2011.

Pliskova came from a set down to beat powerful Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. She has never doubted herself despite dropping out of the top 10 – she is ranked 13 – after being a regular since 2016.

A first appearance in a Wimbledon final has justified that self-belief – and dropping her first set of The Championships will be a minor irritant.

Pliskova had never been beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon but showed great resilience in coming from behind to beat Sabalenka.

She managed to get over the disappointment of both failing to take any of the eight break points that she secured in the first set and losing it to battle it out toe-to-toe with Sabalenka.

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