Eight seed Karolina Pliskova set up a Wimbledon final meet with Ashleigh Barty on Saturday with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over Aryna Sabalenka at the Centre Court on Thursday. Pliskova served up 14 aces and just put up a very solid and calm performance overall to get past Sabalenka, who served up 18 aces herself. This is Pliskova’s first Wimbledon final and a second Grand Slam final (US Open). Sabalenka will have a few decision-making moments to blame, where she faltered a little bit.
Pliskova put in a lot more balls into play than Sabalenka did and that is where Pliskova took the match. Apart from one game when Sabalenka broke her to take the first set, the Czech hardly faltered on her serve. Sabalenka failed to even attack Pliskova’s second serves while the Czech constantly did that with the Belarusian’s second serves.
Pliskova got 65 per cent of her first serves in and won 78 per cent of those points. Sabalenka got 67 per cent of her first serves in but won 75 per cent of those.
The biggest difference between the two was the points won on second serve. Pliskova won 80 per cent of her second serve points while Sabalenka could get only 55 per cent of those.
Pliskova faced just one break point the entire match and was broken on that while she had 10 break points herself and converted two of those.
Pliskova won 34 receiving points while Sabalenka could only win 21 receiving points.
It was a serving masterclass from both semi-finalists but Pliskova just edged out Sabalenka.
Pliskova was elated having reached the Wimbledon final and said in her on-court interview. “Sounds incredible. I hadn’t been beyond the fourth round and now I am in the final. It was an amazing match from both of us.
“I had to stay focussed, that’s why I did.
“It’s tough if you’re not doing well but it’s important to stay positive. Because of my team I managed to do that. It’s not like I forgot to play tennis if I lose in the first round a couple of times. Thank you so much to my team for being super positive."