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World No 1 Barty to face Pliskova at Wimbledon final
2021-07-09 
Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates after beating Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova during their women's singles fourth round match on the seventh day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON -- World number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia and the eighth seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic won in the women's singles semifinals at the Wimbledon Championships on Thursday.

Barty, 25, saw off former champion Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 7-6(3). The Australian hasn't lost a set since the opening round and will face her last opponent Pliskova on Saturday as the Czech came from behind to beat the second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

"I think I was really able to enjoy myself today right from the start. I had a lot of fun," said Barty, who had clinched the junior title at Wimbledon 10 years ago, but has never passed the fourth round in her previous four appearances at the grass-court Grand Slam.

Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova returns against Belarus's Aryna Sabalenka during their women's semi-final match on the tenth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 8, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

"That was a focus of mine. I wanted to go out there and enjoy playing against Angie in such an incredible moment, and regardless of the result, walk off the court knowing that I enjoyed it, I had fun, and I kind of gave it a crack and gave it my all," added Barty.

The 29-year old Pliskova had not lost a set since the first round against Sabalenka, but managed to come back with better serve and patience.

Pliskova admitted that she has never thought about going into the final as her dream was only to advance into the second week, "because I hadn't done that for a while".

Previously, Pliskova only reached a Grand Slam final once where she lost to then world number one Angelique Kerber of Germany at the 2016 US Open.

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