Ash Barty has won her maiden grand slam title, beating Marketa Vondrousova in the French Open final.
Barty cruised to a straight sets win at Roland Garros, winning 6-1 6-3 to become the first Australian to win in Paris since Margaret Court in 1973.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m a little bit speechless. I played the perfect match today. I am so proud of myself and my team,” Barty said after going one better than Fed Cup teammate Samantha Stosur, who lost to the 2010 final in Paris to Francesca Schiavone.
“I was very nervous. Marketa has had an amazing season, she’s only starting her time and I’m sure she’ll be in many more grand slam finals.
“It is a special place for for Australian players … Sam has been so close before and I am incredibly proud of what I have been able to achieve in this amazing two weeks.”
Barty joined Australian legends Margaret Court (1962, ’64, ’69, ’70, ’73), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1971) and Lesley Bowrey (1963, ’65) on the Roland Garros honour roll, five years after quitting the sport in despair.
The win caps off a phenomenal turnaround since returning to tennis in 2016, with a ranking of 623, following an 18-month sabbatical where she played cricket in the WBBL with Brisbane Heat.
The new queen of clay will also pocket a cool $3.74 million after taking out a tournament where she’d never passed the second round in her five previous visits.
Barty’s victory rockets the 23-year-old to No.2 in the world and franks her name as one of the early favourites to land tennis’s greatest prize at Wimbledon next month.
Her new ranking will be the highest by an Australian woman since Goolagong Cawley reached top spot in 1976, and she follows her idol’s footsteps by becoming the second Indigenous Australian to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup.
The Queenslander is also the first Australian singles champion in Paris since Court clinched the last of her five titles 46 years ago.
Barty’s win puts her in exalted company as she became only the 17th Australian woman to win a major – and first since Samantha Stosur at the US Open triumph in 2011.
Barty, Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt (2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon) are the only Aussies to win a major since the turn of the century.
The Ipswich-born talent powered through the first set in just under half an hour, breaking the sweet-swinging southpaw three times.
It was the first time Vondrousova – who was looking to become the first teenage winner since Iva Majoli 22 years ago – had dropped a set in the tournament.
Barty stormed in to a 2-0 lead early in the second set and then closed out the one-sided final in an hour and 10 minutes.
Source: Ian McCullough