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Ash Barty is headed to the Wimbledon finals

The first thing to know about Ashleigh Barty is that she loves grass. She won the girls’ title here as a 15-year-old a decade ago, has a game that is perfectly suited to the fast, low bounce and has frequently said she spends much of the season counting down the days until the grass arrives again. While Barty tends to be wary of revealing too many of her ambitions, before this tournament she made it clear that winning the title was an ultimate goal.

Such an affinity with any tournament can come with heightened pressure but throughout the past 10 days she has risen to the challenges in crucial moments. Against the in-form player, Barty produced one of the highest-quality big-match performances of her career, outplaying Angelique Kerber to win 6-3, 7-6 (3) and reach her first Wimbledon final.

After the glorious chaos of the French Open, which produced four first-time grand slam semi-finalists, such is the unpredictability of the women’s game that three weeks later the final stages here could hardly be more orderly. Of the four semi-finalists, Barty is the world No 1, Kerber and Karolina Pliskova are former No 1s and Aryna Sabalenka is the second seed.

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