World No.1 Ash Barty created history on July 10 by winning her first singles Wimbledon trophy after beating Karolina Pliskova in three sets. The 25-year-old became the first Australian woman to win the coveted trophy after her “friend and mentor” Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
“I’m just so very proud of Ash, the way she handles herself not just on the court but off the court too,” the 1980 Wimbledon winner told Tennis Australia.
“Ash to me is like a little sister and part of my family. I think we treat each other that way. I’m just so very proud of Ash, the way she handles herself not just on the court but off the court too. Ash to me is like a little sister and part of my family. I think we treat each other that way,” said seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Cawley. “All the way through (the final) I sort of had this feeling that she was going to win, this is her time. Somebody up there is looking down on her.”
The 1980 Wimbledon champion Cawley also went back in time and shared her thoughts on what she thought of Barty when they first met. “She made me proud from the 1st time I saw Ash. She must’ve been 13. We saw one point in which she showed all the skills; slice, volley, smash, everything. We looked at each other and thought, she’s got it. She’s going to be our next champ.”
Barty credits Cawley for paving the way
Meanwhile, Barty too offered kind words to the 69-year-old Cawley and thanked her for showing young Australian girls the way to succeed on the biggest platform in tennis.
“I think she has been iconic in paving a way for young indigenous youth to believe in their dreams and to chase their dream,” said the world number one, who has Aboriginal heritage on her father’s side, after winning. “She’s done exactly that for me as well. Her legacy off the court is incredible.”
Barty who also won the French Open in 2019 is now a two-time Grand Slam winner after her triumph at the All England Club and given her recent run and all-round performance, she has every realistic chance of succeeding at the 2021 US Open too.