Saturday, June 8, 2019

Aussie Aussie Aussie!--Oui Oui Oui!

Today, Ash Barty played an almost flawless match to win the 2019 French Open. The Australian star--long known as a standout in doubles--has been on the cusp of winning a huge singles trophy for a while. In fact, it appeared inevitable, though most observers would not have guessed that she would start by winning in Paris. I didn't think she would win today, but I wasn't expecting her opponent to go to pieces mentally, either.

What I was expecting was a thrilling, three-set match from which Marketa Vondrousova would emerge the winner. What we got was a very sub-par Vondrousova and a next-to-perfect Barty.

When Barty easily won the first set, I thought about Vondrousova's "Comeback Queen" title that she had earned during her two weeks in Paris. She had to come from behind over and over, and I wondered if she would do it again today. During the second set, she pulled herself together and picked up her game, seeming to go into Comeback Queen mode.

But Barty was having none of it, and Vondrousova never fully transformed herself into the player who had confounded opponents by seemingly being everywhere on the court at once and hitting laser-like shots into corners.


Ash Barty is an athlete's athlete. Her movement appears effortless, her focus is always steady, and she remains calm at all times. Also, her considerable doubles skills serve her quite well in singles competition.

Barty broke Vondrousova five times and was broken only once. She had rather interesting first and second serve win percentages of 62 and 76, and she was successful at the net in 15 of her 20 attempts. She got the 6-1, 6-3 victory in an hour and ten minutes.

As for the very talented Vondrousova--it's a shame that she (quite obviously) let the occasion get to her. (On the other hand, she is a lefty Czech, so we may have to exercise some patience.)

Barty was always going to be a threat at Wimbledon, and now that she has won a major--with all the confidence that that brings--she's more of a threat than ever.

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