French Open: Ashleigh Barty wins first Grand Slam title

                          Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty

It was a sweet victory on Saturday as twenty-three year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty brushed aside Marketa Vondrousova to win her first Grand Slam at the French Open.

Barty, who is also a cricketer, won in two straight sets 6-1, 6-3.

The eight ranked player had previously won 4 WTA and also 4 ITF titles, unlike her teenage Czech opponent, who had just one WTA title before today.

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As a doubles player, she recorded successes reaching the finals in Wimbledon and Australian Open in 2013, the French Open in 2017 and winning the U.S. Open last year with American Coco Vandeweghe.

She won 10 doubles titles on the tour.

Born in Ipswich in Queensland, Barty began playing tennis at age four in nearby Brisbane. She had a promising junior career, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world after winning the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon in 2011.

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Late in the 2014 season, Barty decided to take an indefinite leave from tennis. She ended up playing cricket during this hiatus, signing with the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League despite having no formal training in the sport.

Barty returned to tennis in early 2016 shortly before turning 20 years old. Although she won her first tournament back on the ITF circuit, her year was ultimately marred by an arm injury.

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In 2017, Barty had a breakout year in singles, winning her first WTA title at the Malaysian Open and rising to No. 17 in the world despite having never been ranked inside the top 100 before her time off.

She also had another prolific year in doubles with Dellacqua, culminating in her first appearance at the WTA Finals.

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