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Wimbledon 2021: Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova SF Wins Top Thursday's Results

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 8, 2021

Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates after defeating Germany's Angelique Kerber during the women's singles semifinals match on day ten of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday, July 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova both advanced to their second career Grand Slam finals Thursday at Wimbledon.

Barty, the top seed, defeated 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets. Pliskova eliminated No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets. 

Barty and Pliskova will play in the first Grand Slam final featuring top-10 seeds in women's singles since the 2019 Australian Open, when Naomi Osaka beat Petra Kvitova. 

Barty will be going after her second major title. She won the 2019 French Open in her first attempt to capture a Grand Slam.

Pliskova is back in a major final for the first time since the 2016 U.S. Open, when she fell in three sets to Kerber. 

       

Women's Semifinals Results

No. 1 Ashleigh Barty def. No. 25 Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 7-6(3)

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No. 8 Karolina Pliskova def. No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

     

Barty started off Thursday's play on Centre Court with a commanding win in a showdown of two Grand Slam champions. 

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

A first Wimbledon final. @AshBarty, 50 years on since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won at The Championships, is one victory away from emulating her idol after beating Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6(3) 🇦🇺 #Wimbledon https://t.co/qgWxKoKYvI

The top-seeded Australian was efficient, winning 86 percent of her 21 first-serve points in the opening set. 

She also fended off three break-point opportunities from the German veteran and converted on one of her two chances to break Kerber's serve.

Kerber put up a stiffer test in the second set, as she allowed a single break and earned that break back to force a tiebreak.

However, the German could not keep up that momentum. She lost the first six points of the tiebreak to make life much easier for Barty to serve out the match. 

Barty did so on her fourth match point. Kerber hit a return into the net for the last of her 23 unforced errors. 

Barty is now 2-1 in Grand Slam semifinals. She knocked out Amanda Anisimova in the 2019 French Open semis on the way to her first major crown. 

The world No. 1 will face a former top player in the world for the Wimbledon title Saturday. 

Pliskova won her first semifinal appearance at a Grand Slam since the 2019 Australian Open by rallying back from a dropped set against Sabalenka. 

The No. 8 seed lost a set for the first time in the tournament when Sabalenka broke her serve at the end of the opening stanza. 

Pliskova responded with a break at 2-2 in the second set. That was the boost she needed to stay strong on serve and level the match. 

Pliskova earned a quick two-game lead in the final set and held the advantage throughout that frame. 

It was fitting that the match ended on an ace from Pliskova. The two players combined for 32 aces and 70 winners. 

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

Sweet Karolina. @KaPliskova comes from a set down to reach the #Wimbledon final for the first time after beating Aryna Sabalenka 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 https://t.co/xCPFfAXL7V

Pliskova only allowed one break-point opportunity for Sabalenka, and she did not allow a potential break in the second or third sets. 

Conversely, Pliskova forced 10 break-point opportunities and cashed in on two of them to gain the advantage required to advance to the final. 

Saturday's final will be the eighth time Barty and Pliskova go head-to-head. Barty leads the series 5-2 and won the only meeting in the last two years at Stuttgart this season. 

One of Pliskova's two wins over Barty came in their only Grand Slam meeting at the 2016 U.S. Open. The two players also split results on the grass at Nottingham to start their head-to-head series. 

       

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Wimbledon.com.

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