PARIS (AP) — Ash Barty decided to take a break from tennis in 2014 to play cricket. After almost two years away, the Australian returned to the tour, and that career choice paid off in a big way Saturday with her first Grand Slam title.
The No. 8-seeded Barty took control right at the start of the French Open final and never really let go, beating unseeded 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3.
She raced to a 4-0 lead and then held on, showing that she learned her lesson after blowing a 5-0 edge in the opening set of her quarterfinal victory a day earlier over another unseeded teenager, 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova.
Barty became the first Australian to win the trophy at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.
Neither Barty, 23, nor Vondrousova had ever played in a Grand Slam final before. Neither had even been in a major semifinal until this week, either.
The women’s final started about 1½ hours later than scheduled because it followed the resumption of Dominic Thiem’s 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic in the men’s semifinals, a match suspended Friday evening because of rain.
Thiem will face 11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal today in a rematch of last year’s final.