The curtains have been drawn on the women’s half of the Wimbledon Championships 2021. After a whirlwind tournament full of twists and turns, we arrived at the business end of the competition. The mouthwatering finals were set for the weekend, and fans around the world had a blast.
The women’s singles draw was the most wide open out of all the categories right from the onset. With defending champion Simona Halep pulling out, it was anybody’s game. There were various contenders for the coveted title and a million possibilities; and the women surely did not disappoint. Producing some of the highest quality of tennis seen on grass in the recent past, let’s take a look at how the women’s side of the draw progressed across the course of the fortnight.
Serena Williams forced to withdraw, crashes out early. 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams looked on course to reach another Wimbledon final at the start of the tournament. She opened her campaign against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich. With a packed Centre Court crowd looking on, Williams crumbled under the slippery grass early in the first set. At 3-3, the American decided that her left ankle injury was too severe to continue, ending her dreams of capturing an 8th Wimbledon crown.
Youngsters Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu shine on the big stage.
The 2021 Championships were a breath of fresh air. In a sign of what the future holds for women’s tennis, teenagers Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu displayed maturity well beyond their years. In her debut Grand Slam, home favourite Raducanu was the talk of the town, up until she was forced to pull out of her ongoing Round of 16 bout against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Gauff continued her impressive breakthrough in professional tennis, reaching the 4th Round as well. Top seeds live up to the expectations. Contrary to what everyone anticipated [unexpected performers], the women’s draw did eventually find its top 2 seeds perform exceedingly well. Both Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka powered their way deep into the tournament.
While Barty went past the likes of Carla Suarez Navarro and defending French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, Sabalenka humbled some strong opposition such as Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur en route to her semifinal finish.
Former Grand Slam finalists find form.
Ex-Grand Slam finalists and the seeded duo of Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova rose to the occasion at the Championships. Performing underwhelmingly off late, few would have predicted either player to make it to the closing stages of the tournament. The two had met in a Grand Slam final before [US Open 2016], with Kerber reigning supreme then. After a tough couple of years, both Pliskova and Kerber rediscovered their solid playmaking abilities at SW19.
Women’s Singles Final: Road to the summit clash and review.
Karolina Pliskova: The 8th seed was by no means a favourite to reach the semifinals, let alone the final. Pliskova powered through French Open breakout Tamara Zidansek in Round-1 and Croatian Donna Vekic in Round-2. The powerful Czech had a smooth sailing till the semifinals, where she battled past 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka in three hard fought sets. The first set against Sabalenka was the only set that Pliskova dropped in the road to the final, before being humbled by Barty
Ashleigh Barty: Following the withdrawal of defending champion Simona Halep, all eyes were on World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, who became the first seed. After a shaky First Round encounter, Barty played some sensational tennis to conquer all her opponents in straight sets, till the final. She defeated former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the semifinal to book her spot in the deciding women’s singles clash. In the final, the Aussie proved why she is the highest ranked player in the world, producing an array of gorgeous shot making to lift the Venus Rosewater dish.
REVIEW: Both women had dropped only one set in the buildup to this much awaited final. It was an intriguing battle of power vs guile, fire vs ice, forehand vs backhand. Ashleigh Barty lived up to her bidding and claimed her second Grand Slam title, while the unlucky Karolina Pliskova failed to spoil the party and claim her maiden Grand Slam. Regardless, it proved to be a battle for the ages!