Ash Barty aiming to emulate mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley with first Wimbledon title

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In a dress paying tribute to her mentor, Ash Barty will aim to further extend the similarities to Evonne Goolagong Cawley in becoming the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since her.

The comparisons between them extend well beyond the scalloped white hem dress Barty has donned all week to their indigenous roots, world No1 status and ability to look well beyond tennis.

In a Wimbledon film on Goolagong Cawley, narrated by Barty, she spoke of enjoying the bigger picture at Wimbledon, taking time to smell the flowers and take in more than just the tennis.

Likewise, Barty has said her tennis will never define her – a view point strengthened by time out of the game when she opted not to play during the first Covid lockdown and a previous hiatus.

But 50 years on from Goolagong Cawley’s first Wimbledon title and 41 years since she won it for a second time, her countrywoman has made no secret of the fact she is “humbled to walk in her footsteps”.

Speaking of her impact after beating Angelique Kerber in a high-quality semi-final yesterday, she said: “I spoke to Evonne prior to the tournament and haven’t been in contact with her since. I’ve just been kind of floating my way through and just kind of enjoying the opportunities I’ve had here this week.

“It’s a really special anniversary for Evonne. I couldn’t be more proud to be in a position to wear an outfit inspired by her. Now to kind of give myself a chance to create some history almost in a way that’s a tribute to her is really exciting. I couldn’t be more rapt to have that opportunity on Saturday.”

Barty, as world No1 and following her dismantling of Kerber, goes into tomorrow’s final as favourite but Karolina Pliskova is showing the mental toughness that has been missing in recent times, powering her way past Aryna Sabalenka despite losing a first set she should have won.

Just making the Wimbledon fortnight had been touch and go for Barty because of the hip injury and, even a few days before, there were doubts the joint was up to a Grand Slam fortnight.

It is a contrast of styles between the two finalists. And looking ahead to the match, Pliskova said of her own power game: “She makes you feel a bit ugly with the game which she’s playing. She’s a really good player, she has a Grand Slam, of course she wants to win another one. But I know there’s going to be chances for me.”

In Barty’s game, there is a grace and elegance, her wristy style with echoes of Goolagong Cawley, and she dearly would love to extend the comparisons further still by lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish.

Read More

Ash Barty to face Karolina Pliskova in Wimbledon final after high-quality semi-finals

What next for Roger Federer? A Wimbledon farewell or playing on into this 40s?

Emma Raducanu passed her Wimbledon exam with flying colours, according to former teen prodigy Tracy Austin

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting