Australian tennis champion Ash Barty has become the second First Nations woman to win the Wimbledon single’s title, 50 years after tennis great Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first victory on the same ground.
Coinciding with the end of NAIDOC Week, Barty took out the championship on Saturday night, winning 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 against Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova.
The 25-year-old Ngaragu woman, ranked the number one tennis player in the world, becomes one of a handful of players to have won single’s titles on clay and grass courts.
Speaking at press conference after the match, Barty said Evonne had been an ‘icon’ for young Indigenous players.
“Evonne is a very special person in my life. I think she has been iconic in paving a way for young Indigenous youth to believe in their dreams and to chase their dreams. She’s done exactly that for me as well.”
“I think being able to share that with her, and share some pretty special victories now with her, and be able to create my own path is really incredible, really exciting,” Barty said.
“She has just been an icon for years, and years, and not just on the tennis court, her legacy off the court is incredible, and I think if I could be half the person that Evonne is I’d be a very happy person.”
“I think being able to have a relationship with her and talk with her through my experience, knowing she’s only ever a phone call away, is really, really cool.”