Australia’s Ash Barty won her first career Grand Slam title (in singles) at the 2019 French Open. Barty eased past teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in a match that lasted less than an hour and fifteen minutes. Barty is the first Australian RG champion since Margaret Court in 1973.
In the opening set Barty broke in her first return game and three times overall, winning the set 6-1 as she lost her service game at 4-0 only to recover for a break and a hold that saw her take the first set on her second set point chance in just 29 minutes of play. Barty was much stronger on serve than Vondrousova in both sets, in the 2nd set Vondrousova was broken from deuce and then had to fend off a break point to avoid going down a double break at 0-2. Barty would remain strong and stable on serve holding all the way to 5-3 at which point she was on the precipice of victory. Vondrousova was unable to dig out a hold at 5-3, and with the break Barty won her first Slam title.
The result is a career best one for the Queenslander Barty, she had previously won four career WTA titles but had never gone beyond a quarterfinal in a Grand Slam. In her first Grand Slam singles final she showed presence and poise, likely drawing on her experience in doubles where she won the 2018 women’s doubles final at the US Open and contested four other doubles slam finals that she lost.
Barty’s accomplishment is even more remarkable put in the context that she stepped away from tennis for two years (2014-16) at which point she played professional cricket in the Australian Women’s Big Bash T20 league among other endeavors. At just 23 and now a Grand Slam champion, this multi-sport athlete as a bright future ahead as a top 10 WTA player, she’s now the world #2 with her sights on #1.
Vondrousova, a 19 year old Czech, also experienced her breakthrough at this tournament, while she won’t be happy with losing her first final she has every chance to make more and perhaps lift her first slam title before the year is out at Wimbledon or the US Open.