Australia's Ash Barty beats Vondrousova to win French Open

Five years after taking an 18-month break from competitive tennis to play — of all things — cricket, 23-year-old Ashleigh Barty has reached the mountaintop, easily defeating Marketa Vondrousova to win the French Open, 6-1, 6-3.

No matter the winner, this year’s final promised a first-time major champion. The French Open is always unpredictable in the women’s draw, with — including Saturday — seven first-time major champions in the last 10 tournaments, and 10 different winners in the last 12 tournaments.

Vondrousova, of the Czech Republic, is the first teenager to make a Grand Slam final since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009. Barty, not exactly a codger herself, had never advanced deeper into a tournament than the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2018. She was seeking to become the first Australian to win the French Open since Margaret Court in 1973.

RELATED: Scenes from the 2019 French Open

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Scenes from the 2019 French Open
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Scenes from the 2019 French Open
Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after missing a shot against Sofia Kenin of the U.S. during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a shot against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot against Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after missing a shot and loosing her third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Sofia Kenin of the U.S. in two sets, 2-6, 5-7, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after missing a shot against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a shot against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka screams after scoring a point against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas falls after diving to return a shot against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Sloane Stephens of the U.S. plays a shot against Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka celebrates winning his fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets, 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena )
Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a shot against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, June 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro prepares to serve against Australia's Jordan Thompson during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Germany's Alexander Zverev plays a shot against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Japan's Naomi Osaka gets up after slipping during her third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. Osaka lost her match in two sets, 4-6, 2-6. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Germany's Alexander Zverev is reflected in a window, left, as he plays a shot, right, against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
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Barty began the match on the attack, taking advantage of Vondrousova’s obvious nerves — Saturday marked Vondrousova’s first-ever match on Roland Garros’s marquee Court Philippe-Chatrier. Barty took the first four games of the match before Vondrousova managed a break to halt the run at 4-1.

Barty immediately broke Vondrousova back, and served to win the first set 6-1 in just 28 minutes. It was a marked difference from the semifinal, where Barty was up 5-0, 40-15 against Amanda Anisimova when Barty lost control of the set and ended up losing 7-6. (Barty would eventually close out Anisimova 6-3, 6-3.)

Vondrousova, who had not lost a set the entire tournament coming into Saturday, put up more of a fight in the second set, but nonetheless appeared rushed and overwhelmed throughout the match. Barty broke Vondrousova’s serve in the very first game, and that break held even as Vondrousova slowly found her footing.

Barty won the tournament on a brilliant, decisive overhead slam to break Vondrousova a second time, completing one of the more remarkable comebacks in recent women’s tennis. Barty now rises to No. 2 in the world, and appears firmly back in charge of her tennis destiny.

“It’s unbelievable. I’m a little bit speechless,” Barty said afterward. “I played the perfect match today.” No disputing that.

 

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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