9 June 2019 | Tennis Australia

Ash Barty’s all-court game and athleticism can inspire a new generation of Australian champions, according to Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik.

Barty became Australia’s first Grand Slam singles champion for eight years with victory over Marketa Vondrousova at the French Open on Saturday.

The 23-year-old from Queensland will rise to No.2 in the new world rankings.

REPORT: Barty overwhelms Vondrousova in final

“Really, really proud of her,” said Molik. “I always knew it was in Ash.

“She’s got a game that sets her apart from every other female tennis player in the world. I think she’s going to have a huge influence on the next generation.

“It’s massive for women’s tennis. Sam [Stosur] pushed very close, got to the final and a couple of semifinals, and it’s so nice Ash is able to carry the momentum.

“Just phenomenal, and I know she’ll go from strength to strength.

“In terms of juniors and the next generation, it’s really exciting and I hope it breeds more Australian champions.”

Molik has captained Australia to a Fed Cup final against France in November, with Barty leading from the front.

“Onwards and upwards,” added Molik.

“Despite her ranking and being a Grand Slam champion, for the rest of the season it is all a bonus.

“She’s got the Fed Cup final in November. Playing for her country and representing her state are equally important.

“That’s what I love about her – she’ll be the same Ash Barty but with a very special trophy.”