• The Ngarigo woman has written her name into history after defeating Karolina Pliskova in straight sets. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Ngarigo woman said she hoped she made her idol proud following her three-set win over Karolina Pliskova, which came 50 years after Evonne Goolagong-Cawley first raised the iconic silverware.
11 Jul 2021 - 9:29 AM  UPDATED 11 Jul 2021 - 9:29 AM

Ash Barty hopes her Wimbledon triumph will create a legacy for young sporting dreamers in Australia in the same way that Evonne Goolagong Cawley's triumphs blazed a trail for her.

Fifty years since Wiradjuri woman Goolagong Cawley first won the Venus Rosewater Dish at Wimbledon, Barty - a proud Ngarigo woman - felt all the stars had aligned and a circle had been connected as she achieved her own breakthrough triumph against Karolina Pliskova on the same Centre Court.  

As she addressed the Centre Court crowd, wearing her own version of the scalloped dress that the teenage Goolagong Cawley had worn here back in 1971, Barty was moved to tears, saying: "I hope I made Evonne proud."

Expanding on her closeness with the seven-time grand slam winner who turns 70 later this month, she later explained: "It's incredible that it's happened to fall on the 50th anniversary of Evonne's first title here.

"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, to be able to create my own path, is really incredible, really exciting.

"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. 

"She's just been an icon for years and years, not just on the tennis court. Her legacy off the court is incredible. 

"I think if I could be half the person that Evonne is, I'd be a very, very happy person."

Barty has become the third Australian woman after Goolagong Cawley and Margaret Court to win Wimbledon and reckoned it was special to earn a place in the nation's sporting heritage.

"For Australians, there is such a rich history here at Wimbledon. I feel like Wimbledon is where tennis was born essentially. This is where it all started, where so many hopes and dreams were kind of born.

"Australians have such a rich history in sport, and being able to be a very small part of that is something I always dreamt of, to try and create a legacy, try and create a path for young girls and boys to believe in their dreams.

"Being able to kind of live through that and learn my lessons along the way has been some of the best parts of my journey.

"To be able to be successful here at Wimbledon, to achieve my biggest dream, has been absolutely incredible. The stars aligned for me over the past fortnight."

Parents had no hint of greatness

Barty's overjoyed father has made the startling confession that he didn't know the precocious talent the family had on their hands until the newly-crowned Wimbledon champion was 15.

Most parents get an inkling - or at least hope - that their children are something special very early on.

But Rob and Josie Barty concede they had no clue their youngest of three daughters would ever become a French Open and Wimbledon champion and world No.1.

"We weren't tennis players. We were golfers," Barty's dad Rob told AAP in the aftermath of her incredible three-set Wimbledon final win over Czech Karolina Pliskova.

"We just thought she was one of these kids that could do everything.

"We had no idea. People used to say how good she was at tennis but we just thought she was a kid having fun.

"Then she goes over and wins (junior) Wimbledon at the age of 15, you don't usually win the junior slams until you're 18, your last year, and we sort of thought 'maybe she is pretty good at this game'."

Both Barty's parents were state representatives at golf, with Rob also playing for Australia as an amateur.

Neither felt the need to interrupt in their daughter's sporting career choices, trusting Barty and her junior coach Jim Joyce to make her own path.

"And we just kept on going the same way we did," Rob said.

"We just left it up to the pros, her coaches, to do the work and all we worried about was trying to raise a respectful young lady."

More than "respectful", Barty has evolved into not only the world's top-ranked tennis player and world No.1, but now Australia's first Wimbledon women's champion in 41 years.

Bur her father is quick to point out there's no favourites in the Barty household.

"We're always onto them, all three girls," he said.

"Even though they're women now, we tell them you've got to be respectful, you've got to treat them well and you've got to be a nice person."

Just as Barty has always treated people equally, her father insisted his top-ranked tennis-playing daughter was no more special in the family's eyes.

"They're all the same," Rob said.

"The two older girls, if there's ever a family that there's been an excuse for a sibling to be jealous, it's ours, because of what we have to do for Ash to get her to be where she is.

"But Sara and Ali are Ash's biggest fans. They know what Ash has foregone.

"They know the commitment she has had to show and they do everything they can to make sure her life is as normal and enjoyable as it can be."

Asked by AAP what the Wimbledon champion's sisters could possibly be jealous about, Rob said: "That they're home with mum and dad".

Ash Barty's Wimbledon tribute to idol
The World Number 1 will wear the same style dress as Evonne Goolagong-Cawley did, when she won the title 50 years ago.