Ashleigh Barty: Brisbane Heat Cricketer to Roland Garros Champion

Roughly three years ago, Ashleigh Barty, the young 20-year-old Queenslander was playing for the Brisbane Heat in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Big Bang League after almost giving up hope from professional tennis. Fast forward to three years and Ash Barty is now a Grand Slam winner! Life has changed and how, for the now 23-year-old who is now an Aussie superstar. Not many gave Barty a chance to win the title, especially after iffy performances at Madrid (quarterfinals) and Rome (2nd round).

Ash Barty as a Brisbane Heat cricketer.

Ashleigh Barty’s Dream French Open Run

The Australian began her Roland Garros campaign in style with three successive straight sets wins over USA’s Jessica Pegula, USA’s Danielle Collins, and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. In the round of 16, Barty faced American Sofia Kenin and lost the first set before storming back to win the next two and book a spot in French Open quarterfinal.

In the quarters, she faced yet another American in Madison Keys, whom she defeated quite easily. The semis saw her face American Amanda Anisimova, whom she dispatched quite remarkably. After being behind for most parts of the game, she came back to end the American’s dream run.

Marketa Vondrousova and Ashleigh Barty before the Roland Garros Final.

Then arrived the final, where both she and her opponent Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova were playing in their maiden Grand Slam final. She bested the Czech 6-1, 6-3 in just 72 minutes to pocket home her maiden Grand Slam crown.

It was an incredible moment for the Australian, especially after she had almost quit the spot she had once loved and adored. With the win, she has ended Australia’s 46-year-long wait for a French Open singles title. Furthermore, she has become the new World No. 2 (WTA Rankings) women’s singles player, the highest ranked Aussie tennis player since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in December 6, 1976.

Ash Barty def. Marketa Vondrousova in the final.

After her title-clinching victory over Czech Vondrousova, Barty said, “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 a crazy two weeks. This is a special place for Australian players.”

More Things In Store for Ashleigh Barty?

This is just the start! And Ash, now a Grand Slam winner, will be eyeing for more Grand Slam titles in the near future. Fingers crossed as a new era in Women’s tennis is perhaps being unearthed!

French Open 2019 winner: Ash Barty

Last but not the least, the International Cricket Council tweeted after Ash Barty’s victory. “You can take the athlete out of cricket, but you can’t take cricket out of the athlete!”

Long live, Ashleigh Barty!

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