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Saturday, July 10, 2021

Wimbledon 2021 ~ Women in the finals on Sunday

Wimbledon offers great thrill and entertainment – this is post about a woman in the Sunday finals of Wimbledon !

Remember following Wimbledon and memory stretches back to 1977 when   Björn Borg defeated   Jimmy Connors, 3–6, 6–2, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4 [7] – it was Borg's second consecutive Wimbledon title and 4th Grand Slam title overall.  He was to win in successive years too .. and in 1980 – he was stretched, perhaps struggled against an angry  antics-filled young leftie -  John McEnroe, 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6[5] – it was Borg's 10th career Grand Slam singles title and his 5th and last title at Wimbledon.  That year  Evonne Goolagong Cawley defeated   Chris Evert Lloyd 6–1, 7–6(7–4)[6] .. .. today watched the match between - Ashleigh Barty and  Karolina Pliskova, and it was not all that impressive as easy points were won .. .. and at some point of time Pliskova appeared cold-feeted, not moving at all ..

Of course the stage is big and the finals at a Grandslam can be nerve-wracking. Yet in the first women’s final since 1977 where neither contender had ever reached the ultimate decider before, in Pliskova’s case it showed so much that for much of the opening set she played as if she could barely recall her own name. Few would have thought that from those toe-curling beginnings, there would emerge an utterly riveting contest. Not since 2012 has the women’s final gone the distance, and ultimately it was Barty who lasted the course to triumph 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 in five minutes under two hours. Fifty years after Evonne Goolagong became the first indigenous Australian to win Wimbledon, Barty walked a dance of joy in her footsteps.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched Ashleigh Barty triumph in the Wimbledon final this afternoon - Kate's first outing since she was forced to her self isolate after coming into contact with an Covid-infected person.  The Duchess of Cambridge, the patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, presented the champion with her trophy alongside president of the All England Club the Duke of Kent as the crowd cheered.  

Today, Ash Barty authenticated her world number one status with a triumphant performance that brought her a first Wimbledon title. The former French Open winner, who sat out so much tennis during the pandemic, showed that she has properly resumed being the world’s best player with a 6-3 6-7 6-3 victory that took an hour and 56 minutes. The 25 year-old Australian took advantage of an initially nervy performance from an opponent who stands eight inches taller than her. The top seed produced a super display to cement her status as the best women's player.  She also became Australia’s first singles champion of either sex since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002, closing the match out with an edgy service game. Throwing different spins and paces at the 6” 1’ Czech, Barty eventually built on a dominant start that at one point looked in danger of turning into an embarrassing rout. Pliskova recovered admirably to fully use her wingspan but was ultimately outfoxed by a more agile opponent.

Karolina Pliskova was moved to tears as she spoke after her defeat to Ash Barty in Saturday’s Wimbledon final. The Czech tennis player was playing her second Grand Slam final after losing in the 2016 US Open final, and made the world number one work hard for the women’s title at SW19. Pliskova began to play much better in the second set and was in the ascendancy at 5-5 and 40-0 before losing five points in a row against the relentless slice of Barty.  

If you had read the first para right – it makes no big news about Wimbledon finals on Saturday but on Sunday – it is Men’s Finals and there would be no woman on the Centre Court.  Wimbledon is set to break with tradition by appointing its first female umpire to oversee a men’s singles final.    There will be a female chair umpire for the Wimbledon men’s singles final for the first time in the history of a tournament first played in 1877. Marija Cicak, a 43-year-old from Croatia, will officiate Sunday when Novak Djokovic faces Matteo Berrettini for the championship at the All England Club.

Cicak is  one of the game’s most experienced umpires and has been an elite ITF Gold Badge holder for the past 10 years. Cicak, 43, was in the chair for the marathon Wimbledon men’s semi-final between John Isner and Kevin Anderson in 2018. Her other notable matches have included the women’s Wimbledon final of 2014 when Petra Kvitova beat Eugenie Bouchard. Now she is expected to make history when Novak Djokovic takes on Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on the Centre Court. Wimbledon overlooked highly-regarded WTA Tour official and former player Clare Wood when it appointed Gerry Armstrong as referee last year to replace Andrew Jarrett. But now it looks likely to follow other sports events in promoting female officials to one of its highest-profile tasks.

Woman-power at Wimbledon finals 2021 !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th July 2021. 

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