Australian Ashleigh Barty beat Czech star Marketa Vondrousova in Saturday’s Women’s French Open Singles Final, becoming the first Australian female to win a singles title at Roland Garros since Margaret Court did so in 1973.
The 23-year-old stepped away from tennis to try her hand at professional cricket back in 2014 but returned in 2016, which has proven to be a great choice.
Barty, who went into the final as an 8th seed, bested her opponent 6-1, 6-3 on the Paris clay before sinking to the ground in apparent disbelief. The shock was understandable given the fact that she’d felt a need to quit the game for nearly two years earlier in her career. But she’s certainly returned much stronger.
She’s now set to climb the rankings to second in the world when standings are released next week and, by extension, will be the highest-ranked woman hailing from Australia since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976.
“I never dreamt I’d be sat here with the French Open trophy,” she declared following her near-perfect victory.
On her decision to walk away from tennis in 2014, she said, “I needed time to step away, to live a normal life, because this tennis life certainly isn’t normal.”
“I never closed any doors, saying, ‘I’m never playing tennis again’,” she added.
It has been an amazing climb for the Australian, who started out at 623 after returning from her break. Since coming back, she has won four trophies, including the Miami Open and the US Open doubles. She’s also reached a total of four doubles Grand Slam finals alongside partner Casey Dellacqua.
Barty’s experience shone through when she took on Vondrousova in the French Open final on Saturday as she started out as the aggressor, taking three of nine break points to claim the opening set in just 29 minutes. These were the first Vondrousova had dropped in the entire tournament and Barty would not let go of the advantage after breaking again in the second set then holding off a break point to maintain a service game.
Vondrousova was ranked at 38 ahead of the final but will rise to the top 20 in the rankings in spite of her loss.
The new French Open women’s champion is soon to head to Wimbledon, with the tournament kicking off at the beginning of next month. Betfair has offered odds of +850 on her winning the competition outright and you could find the latest betting tips and the best betting offers, as well as free bets at bookmakers offers uk.
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams will also be around to have a say and MoPlay is offering +450 on the 37-year-old coming out on top. Meanwhile, Betfair is offering +640 odds on Czech pro Petra Kvitova winning the tournament while Naomi Osaka is at +850 to emerge the victor with MoPlay.
Women’s tennis has no shortage of young talent at the moment and the final between 23-year-old Barty and the 19-year-old Vondrousova is proof of that. The former is actually the ninth different female champion in the last 10 Grand Slam tournaments while five of this year’s seven biggest WTA tournaments have been won by players who are 23 years and under.