Ashleigh Barty is one victory away from realising her dream of winning the Wimbledon title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first triumph.
The 25-year-old world No 1 produced her best performance of The Championships so far to beat 2018 champion Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).
Barty will play either former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic or Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka in Saturday’s final.
Barty had never progressed further than the fourth round at Wimbledon despite having form on grass as she was junior champion in 2011. However, she took the first set with just the one break of serve and then showed real determination to turn around a 1-4 deficit and force the tie-break where she had six match points.
Kerber saved three but it was only delaying the inevitable and soon it was Barty who raised her arms in celebration and placed her racquet over her head as the moment sank in.
“It’s incredible, it was as close to as good a tennis match that I have ever played,” said Barty who fired eight aces and 38 winners.
“It was a hell of a match from the first ball. I am really proud of myself and my team. It’s been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs.”
Kerber can, though, be pleased with her run despite Barty ending a 10-match winning streak for the 33-year-old German.
The grass had revived a career that appeared to be spiralling downwards – she had failed to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since her 2018 Wimbledon title.