Czech fights back to beat No 2 seed 5-7, 6-4, 6-4Pliskova sets up showdown with Ashleigh Barty
Karolina Pliskova admits that as she approached Wimbledon, a tournament where in eight attempts she had never been past the fourth round, “the dream was to make the second week”. On Saturday she will play Ashleigh Barty for the title, after confounding expectations – her own, it seems, as well as many others’ – with a deserved 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over the No 2 seed, Aryna Sabalenka, in the semi-finals.
A match that was billed as a battle of big-hitters duly started with an ace and ended, seven minutes short of two hours later, with another. No women’s match at Wimbledon, at least since people started counting these things, has featured more aces than this one’s 32. But while it was as predicted a staccato story of short points – 145 were decided in four shots or fewer, just 38 in five or more – there was much more to it than raw power.