Friday, September 17, 2021
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Preview: Women’s singles Wimbledon final

At Wimbledon plagued by pre-tournament withdrawals, retirement due to injury, and some old-fashioned turmoil, Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova successfully reached the women’s final. Both deserve to win this year’s Wimbledon Women’s Championship, but in the end, only one of them will get the honor.

As someone who currently enjoys the dubious distinction of being one of the best players to have never won a slam title, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see Pliskova enjoy a breakthrough here on the lawns of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. It has one of the most imposing games of the rounds that when fired on all cylinders is able to defeat anyone on any given day. She has a thriving serve that rivals Serena Williams in terms of the number of aces she gets all season, and her strikes on the ground are exceptionally flat and penetrating, traits that should only be enhanced on the grass. Her transition game and her hands on the net were also underrated. Her game’s only weak point is her movement, but her tall, slender figure along with her ability to anticipate her opponents’ movements often helps disguise her lack of mobility. Finally, she has the kind of skill that can land her a master title.

The same statement can be made for Czech opponent Barty, who has already proven that she has everything it takes to get in the way after her victory at Roland Garros in 2019. There’s a lot to like about what the top seed brings to the table as well, and what that might mean for her odds of winning in Saturday’s final. She may stand eight inches shorter than Pliskova – in fact, in 55“She’s among the shortest of the rounds – but make no mistake, her serve will be a weapon in this match. He’s deceptively effective and often earns her aces at pressure points. The Australian also boasts some of the sport’s greatest diversity, being able to hit the ball, chop and dice. from baseline then just as easily in chips and charge and made her way to the front yard to put her opponent under pressure and finish point.Point.This versatility could be very important against Pliskova as well.It allows her to give the eighth seed a lot of variation to keep her balance and it gives Barty more A way to win if no other aspect of her game has worked.

Aside from superior versatility, he would also take Barty to court enjoying a psychological advantage. She leads her rivalry with Pliskova 5-2Which includes winning his last three matches, most recently this spring in Stuttgart. Her form has also been visibly better than the Czechs in recent months and, perhaps more importantly, she has the precious experience of actually winning a singles title.

None of this means that Pliskova is entering this contest lacking in faith. Although they lag behind in the showdown, more than half of their matches have been three-sets and have seen a number of tiebreaker sets. It is also a previous number 1, a rank that is only achieved if the player wins some big matches and prestigious titles, and although she has not yet won the major tournament, she has the experience of playing a major final, and she does so in New York in 2016. There may not have been much to suggest coming to Wimbledon this year that she was about to run, but if she thinks she’s rediscovered that form that led her to the top, she could be ready to take the next step and earn her first major.

Once again, all things considered, whatever the outcome in Saturday’s final, it wouldn’t be amazing. However, Barty must be considered a favourite. With the firepower to bully Barty, Pliskova has the tools to cross the finish line, but a lot more has to go to the Czechs correctly than Barty. That’s a big demand in a big final for someone who hasn’t yet won one of those coveted titles. Barty is better equipped to make the necessary adjustments and weather any storm that Pliskova can hit, and she already knows she can move on. Before the tournament began, a number of critics believed that if Barty could stay healthy and make her way to the event, she would be the favourite. So far I’ve stuck to that bill, which is why it’s hard to bet on it on a Saturday.

(Image source: Getty Images)


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