Dominant Ash Barty storms to first Grand Slam title at the French Open
Ash Barty turned in a phenomenally dominant performance on Saturday afternoon, destroying Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova to lift her first Grand Slam singles title.
The pair were both new to this stage and Barty adapted far better to the mental demands of a major finale, winning 6-1 6-3 in an hour and 10 minutes.
Barty, who will climb to world No. 2 when the next WTA rankings are released, outfoxed her opponent with her typical guile and precision and became the first Australian since 1973 to win the French Open title, ending a 46-year wait since Margaret Courts fifth and final French Open crown.
It was an unlikely final line-up. The pair had won three main draw matches at Roland Garros between them prior to 2018. Most had Barty down as a Wimbledon contender rather than French Open title winner.
But the 23-year-old eighth seed, who has also won a Grand Slam doubles title alongside the USAs Coco Vandeweghe, boasts a complete game and became the 51st woman in the Open Era to claim a major singles title.
Her story is all the more remarkable considering she quit tennis in 2014 in order to pursue a career in cricket, returning some two years later.
Three years on, she is the second-highest ranked woman in the world and with a bright future ahead of her.
Barty got off a terrific start, just as she did in her semi-final win over Amanda Anisimova, racing into a 4-0 lead after 13 minutes. Against Anisimova, despite being 5-0 up and having two set points at 15-40, she collapsed to lose the opening set. There was no danger of that this time around.