By Matt Brown from Roland Garros

Before Roland Garros few people could have imagined Ash Barty playing Marketa Vondrousova in the women's singles final.

For what it's worth I had tipped Barty before the tournament. But that hunch was based on the fact the women's draw at Grand Slams is wide Open.

There are at least a dozen players who can compete for the titles, such is the evenness of the women's game at the top end.

Advertisement

Barty had come to Paris under an injury cloud and without much expectation, plus she had won just two matches on the Roland Garros clay in five previous visits.

Yet her form this year had been superb, capturing a Premier WTA title in Miami in March and producing some strong performances in the clay court lead in tournaments. Her game based on a strong serve, tremendous variety in her shot-making and great athleticism is suited to all surfaces.

The Australian's story is a remarkable one, it's just over three years since the 23-year-old returned to the sport ranked 623 in the world, two years after quitting tennis in 2014.

Barty had been a junior Wimbledon champion but had initially found the professional life tough, she struggled with the travel and battled depression.

In 2015 she played cricket for Queensland, such was her sporting talent but she chose to return to tennis a year later and today that remarkable comeback is complete as she dominated the 19-year-old Czech 6-1,6-3 to lift the Susanne Lenglen Cup.

Many commentators felt her best chance for a Grand Slam title would come on grass at Wimbledon. She has a tremendous serve with good variety and is one of relatively few women's players who utilize the kick serve.

Barty's backhand slice is a real weapon for her and her ability to change the pace during rallies is an asset. She's won her first Grand Slam title on the Roland Garros clay and I wouldn't rule her out making a strong run at the All England Club in a few weeks' time.

Matt Brown is in Paris courtesy of Emirates Airline.

Advertisement