After a hiatus last year, we have finally reached our first Wimbledon final since 2019 with world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty taking on Karolina Pliskova in a tantalizing battle.
There has been a renewed sense of excitement about the courts over the past two weeks as fans returned to the stands. While thoughts of COVID-19 lingered with strict protocols for both competitors and fans, that hasn’t overshadowed the fact that we have been treated to some exceptional matches.
Barty, 25, is the first Australian woman to reach a Wimbledon final since Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Barty has worn a kit honoring her legendary predecessor all tournament, and that inspiration was clear to see in the top seed’s victory over former champion Angelique Kerber in the semifinal.
Barty has never won at Wimbledon, but she does bring significant experience over Pliskova in the final. The No. 8 seed has never won a major title, and Barty has an advantage over her in their head-to-heads (5-2).
So what can Pliskova do to derail Barty’s march toward the title? ESPN analysts Rennae Stubbs, Pam Shriver and James Blake looked at the key elements and previewed the match.