Australian Ash Barty is no ordinary woman. The newly crowned Wimbledon champion isn’t just an established tennis player, but was a budding professional cricketer too and played in the Women’s Big Bash League. On Saturday, the 25-year-old became the first Aussie woman to win the Wimbledon after Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.
Barty won her final against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, to clinch her second Grand Slam, after the French Open in 2019. But tennis wasn’t an instant success story for her. Back in 2014, she had taken a break from the sport to play cricket. She went on to represent Brisbane Heat in the WBBL and played a few matches.
“It truly was an amazing period of my life," Barty had said on her cricket career earlier. “I met an amazing group of people who couldn’t care less whether I could hit a tennis ball or not.
“They accepted me, and they got to know Ash Barty. They got to know me. I still have those relationships to this very day. I got an amazing amount of messages over the last couple of days from those cricket girls who were some of my best friends.
“The way they are accepting of someone new coming into their locker room, into their dressing room and into their sport was amazing. They are truly an incredible group of girls that I know I’ll have a relationship with for the rest of my life and a friendship with for the rest of my life," she added.
Meanwhile, It was the first women’s Wimbledon final to go to three sets since 2012 when Serena Williams beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.
Barty had looked like cruising to victory after soaring into a 4-0 lead over her opponent — the Australian’s start so blistering that she won the first 14 points.
However, 29-year-old Pliskova steadied herself and also due to Barty faltering on several occasions especially serving for the match in the second set the Czech took it into a decider.