World Number one Ash Barty reaching the final at the All England Club for the first time. Angelique Kerber of Germany her victim in straight sets. Kerber herself a former winner at Wimbledon had a great run this year beating Coco Gauff in straight sets in the Round of 16. On Thursday, Ash was playing the better tennis. Ash is the best player on the WTA tour from rallies and this match reinforced that. Check out 1-0(40-30) first set. Overhead smashes are all about ignoring your opponent focus on the ball, good footwork. Angelique here pays way too much attention to the movement of Barty on the baseline and is put off by it. A harder smash into the grass would have done the trick,never mind where Barty is. Once a break up Barty never let go. Even when Kerber had a sniff like at 3-1(15-30), Ash’s ground strokes were too much for her. Angelique is a lefty and lefties have some forehand. Watch 4-1(15-15). She drops low to get height on it to clear the net .I am not a fan of dropping low in making shots would rather get top spin on the ball to clear the net. Risky shot but it paid off.
Angelique starting the second set like she meant business, breaking Barty early in that one, Ash not hitting the ball with conviction. Kerber’s shots especially the drop shot on 3-1(40-30) facing a break point was brave and well executed. That hold was pivotal. The German was on the verge of winning the set at 5-3 when she crumbled under pressure. It started with Ash teaching her a proper overhead smash at the start of that game. Finishing with Kerber failing with another overhead to hand Ash the break back to love. On to the tie break we went, Barty was queen, gooing a double mini break up at 4-0. It was soon 5-0, vintage Barty from the baseline finished off with a forehand into the corner, unplayable. A fine display of tennis from Barty. She faces Pliskova of the Czech Republic on Saturday who beat Aryana Sabalenka to reach the final. It’s been a great summer for Czech tennis.