Ashleigh Barty was always one of the favourites going into Wimbledon 2021. However, being a favourite matters little if, at the end of the day, you cannot put in the work. Barty was, in that regard, very consistent and determined that 2021 will be her year. After beating Karolina Plsikova in the Wimbledon final, Barty admitted this was the best thing she has ever felt out on a tennis court.
“It was the most incredible feeling I’ve ever experienced on a tennis court,” she said. “There was certainly disbelief. I’ve worked so hard my whole career with my team and with people that mean the most to me to try and achieve my goals.
“For tennis players all over the globe, Wimbledon is where tennis was born. This is where it all started. I understood that as I played here as a junior, and was able to experience that incredible week.
“Some of my toughest moments have come at Wimbledon. Now some of my most incredible moments have come here as well.
“It’s just an iconic venue, an amazing Club. To be able to learn so much from this place, I think I’m a very lucky girl.”
She also revealed how being able to play at the Grand Slam at all was a miracle. She had struggled with a hip injury prior to the tournament, which saw her pull out of the French Open mid-way.
“Being able to play here at Wimbledon was nothing short of a miracle. They kept a lot of cards close to their chest. It just proved how much we were against the odds.
“To be playing pain-free through this event was incredible. Certainly now chatting to them it looked a lot less likely than I felt. It’s been an incredible month.”
Barty also paid tribute to fellow Australian Evonne Goolagong. Goolagong, who like Barty is of Australian aboriginal discent, won her first Wimbledon exactly 50 years ago.
“Evonne is a very special person in my life. She has been iconic in paving a way for young indigenous youth to believe in their dreams. She’s done exactly that for me as well.
“She’s been an icon for years. Knowing she’s only ever a phone call away is really cool. If I could be half the person that Evonne is, I’d be a very happy person.
“Australians have such a rich history in sport. Being able to be a very small part of that is something I always dreamt of, to try and create a legacy, a path for young girls and boys to believe in their dreams.
“Learning my lessons along the way has been one of the best parts of my journey. To achieve my biggest dream, has been absolutely incredible.
“The stars aligned for me over the past fortnight – incredible. That it happened to fall on the 50th anniversary of Evonne’s first title here, too, is absolutely incredible.”