Casey and Ash into Wimbledon final

Casey Dellacqua and Ash Barty have kept their magnificent run on grass going by reaching the ladies’ doubles final at Wimbledon.

The Aussies enjoyed a 7-6(6) 6-2 semifinal win over seventh seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke to reach their second Grand Slam final of the year after January’s Australian Open.

“I just think we have so much trust and belief in each other. Whatever the situation is, we find a way,” Dellacqua said of the partnership.

They will face the eighth-seeded Taiwanese-Chinese pairing of Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai in Saturday’s final, who beat the unseeded team of Shuko Aoyama and Chanelle Scheepers in straight sets in the second semifinal.

The victory takes Dellacqua and Barty’s winning streak to nine matches after they claimed the WTA grasscourt title in Birmingham three weeks ago.

“This is only our fourth tournament together this year,” Dellacqua said. “Obviously we had the final at the Australian Open and we were in a position to possibly win that and lost in three sets, but that was a good run. We played some really good tennis in Birmingham and we’ve followed it through here at Wimbledon.

“To be in another [major] final is awesome and we’ll learn from the Australian Open one and take it into tomorrow, and have a shot at another Grand Slam title.”

The Aussies looked sharp from the very first ball on No.1 Court at the All England Club, racing to a 4-1 lead. But the experienced German-Czech reeled in that lead, winning four straight games and then gaining a set point deep in the ensuing tiebreak.

Dellacqua landed a forcing serve to level scores at six-points-all, and when they reached their own set point soon after, Barty made sure they converted it; she smoked a backhand return straight at Groenefeld’s head for a winner as the German ducked for cover.

With the killer blow landed, the Aussies set to work chipping away at an increasingly error-prone and despondent opposition.

With Barty rock-solid off the ground and Dellacqua showing delightful touch with several winning lobs, the 12th seeds outplayed Peschke and Groenefeld, the latter especially liable on serve and at net. They scored two service breaks en route to a 5-2 lead, and Dellacqua serve out the match with aplomb, benefitting from a pair of Peschke errors on the final two points.

“I think we’re in a very different situation to the Aussie Open,” Barty said of the looming final, scheduled for Saturday at 2pm (London time).

“I think [in Australia] it was like a dream run, but now it feels like we belong here and we belong in another final … we know that if we play well we can make slam finals and even win them maybe.”

The result, incredibly, means that Dellacqua has now reached the finals of the women’s doubles events at the Australian and French Opens as well as at Wimbledon – she reached the final at Roland Garros with Francesca Schiavone in 2008.

“Obviously I’m proud of my achievements in previous years with doubles and making a couple of finals, and winning the mixed [at the 2011 French Open with Scott Lipski]. I’ll never forget how exciting that was … It was my first Grand Slam,” Dellacqua said.

“Tomorrow it’s a great opportunity for us. Ash has obviously got a lot more years to play but I’m towards the end of my career … so I would love to finish [with a women’s doubles slam].

“Gosh, it would mean the world to me.”

 

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