Barty ‘never dreamt’ she could win French Open
Ashleigh Barty says winning the French Open is beyond the dreams she had growing up in tennis.
Ash Barty says the stars aligned over two spectacular weeks of tennis that led to a first major title at Roland Garros.
The 23-year-old beat unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in Paris on Saturday to become Australia’s fourth French Open champion, and first in 46 years.
Barty, who only returned to tennis three years ago, was ruthlessly efficient against the 19-year-old as she became just the 17th Australian female player to win a Grand Slam.
“It’s remarkable,” said the Queenslander.
“At the moment it’s a bit too much and a bit out there, really.
“But it’s amazing.We have done the work, and we tried to put ourselves in these positions. Now that we’re here, it’s just incredible.”
— Ash Barty (@ashbar96) June 8, 2019
Barty’s success in Paris means she is the ninth different winner from the last 10 Slams and a genuine contender for Wimbledon next month on her favourite surface of grass.
Five years after quitting the sport in despair, Barty has now 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.
“For the last fortnight, the stars have aligned for me,” she said. “I have been able to play really good tennis when I’ve needed it.
“I never dreamt that I’d be sitting here with this trophy here at the French Open.
“I mean, obviously we have dreams and goals as children, but this is incredible.”
The new queen of clay will also pocket a cool $3.74 million after taking out her maiden grand slam at a tournament where she’d never passed the second round on five previous visits.
Her new ranking will be the highest of 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.
Congratulations @ashbar96 – I am so proud of you champion. Rocket 🚀 pic.twitter.com/d7L12V24Ty
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) June 8, 2019
“Evonne sent me a text a couple days ago and said this was her first grand slam,” she said. “I spotted her name on the trophy. I’ll give her a call a little bit later on.
“She’s created this path for indigenous tennis in Australia and I think now it’s becoming more nationwide.
“There are more opportunities for kids to start playing tennis, both male and female.”
Barty will catch up with her parents, who missed the chance to get to Paris after flying in to the UK from Brisbane just hours before she went on court.
Barty’s mother Josie has relatives in Nottingham, and along with her dad Rob, they watched her triumph, just hours after landing at Birmingham airport.
“It was planned they were always coming to the UK,” she said.
“It just so happened they were flying in today.
“There was never, you know, a kind of spark in my mind or question that they would come here for me.
“I know they’re watching. I know they are living through every single point with me and every single ride with me.”
“They flew in and only landed an hour or two before we actually went on the court. So there was no physical possibility they could get to Paris.
“I will see them tomorrow. You know, obviously give them a big hug and a big kiss. It will be really nice to see them again, because it’s been a few weeks.”