Brief again today.
We have an intriguing final in place come Saturday, and it will be a day of some historic milestones. Ash Barty will be the first number 1 seed contesting a Wimbledon final since Serena in 2016, and she will be the first Australian to do so since Goolagong over 40 years ago.
Ash Barty Def. Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6
How did she get there? Well the Beeb’s commentators would have you believe it was a foregone conclusion that Barty would sweep majestically to the second Saturday. Slight disservice to the resurgent former champ Kerber who – if not for some early nerves, 8 years disadvantage in age and a rare lack of belief at times, had the weapons to come through.
But Ash is not number 1 for nothing, she has consistently been the most solid, accurate and assured of everyone this last fortnight. Power, variation and a calm steeliness is a potent concoction.
Karolina Pliskova Def. Aryna Sabalenka 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
Here we had a very different encounter, if you’ll forgive the crass description, a titanic battle of the tattooists.
But gimmicks aside, this was a power battle from the baseline, but no less entertaining. Sabalenka screeched and Pliskova purred in relative silence. But their games are similar, the Czech former US Open finalist and former World number 1 held her nerve better to prevail in 3.
I have spoken before – as recently as this week – of how Pliskova has flattered to deceive so often, but even against the might of Barty, I fancy the twin to finally clinch an overdue first major.
Two Czech grand slam debut title wins in a row, a lovely story in the making.
We shall see on Saturday.