Ashleigh Barty ended Australia’s 46-year wait for a French Open singles title on Saturday by thrashing nervous Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in a one-sided women’s final.
Eighth seed Barty got off to a strong start and never looked back, winning 6-1, 6-3 after only 70 minutes to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.
The 23-year-old will rise to second in the world behind only Naomi Osaka when the latest rankings are released next week, after becoming the first Australian winner at Roland Garros since Margaret Court won the last of her five trophies in 1973.
She will be best-ranked Australian woman since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976.
“It’s unbelievable, I’m a little bit speechless. I played the perfect match today. I’m so proud of myself and my team, it’s been an incredible two weeks,” said Barty.
“It’s a special place for Australians here. Sam (Stosur) has done well here before and come so close. It’s been a magical two weeks.”
Barty, who famously took a break from tennis to play professional cricket in 2015, struck 27 winners past an opponent riddled with nerves.
The 19-year-old Vondrousova saw her bid to become the first teenage Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova won the 2006 US Open come to a tame end, as the world number 38 made 22 unforced errors, against a mere 10 winners.
Earlier in the day Novak Djokovic’s dream of becoming just the second man in history to hold all Grand Slam titles at the same time twice was crushed by Dominic Thiem.
Thiem downed the world number one 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 to set up a repeat of last year’s final against 11-time winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, who was second best to Thiem when it came to mastering the gloom, wind and damp of Paris, was bidding to join Rod Laver in the Grand Slam history books.
However, it’s 25-year-old Austrian fourth seed Thiem who goes on to face Nadal where he will be buoyed by having defeated the 17-time major winner four times on clay in his career.