Ashleigh Barty ended Australia's 46-year wait for a French Open singles title by thrashing nervous Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in a one-sided women's final.
Ashleigh Barty, the Australian who ditched tennis to play professional cricket for a year, smashed Marketa Vondrousova for six on Saturday to lift the French Open crown at Roland Garros.
The No. 8-seeded Barty took control right at the start of the match and never really let go, beating unseeded 19-year-old Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3.
"I played the perfect match today," Barty said.
Pretty close to it, particularly at the start.
She raced to a 4-0 lead and then held on, showing that she learned her lesson after blowing a 5-0 edge in the opening set of her quarterfinal victory a day earlier over another unseeded teenager, 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova.
Barty wound up with a 27-10 edge in winners against a far shakier Vondrousova and became the first Australian to win the trophy at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.
"You gave me a lesson today," Vondrousova said to Barty during the trophy ceremony at Court Philippe Chatrier.
Neither Barty, 23, nor Vondrousova had ever played in a Grand Slam final before. Neither had even been in a major semifinal until this week, either.
Told during an on-court interview that she hadn't seemed jittery, Barty replied: "Oh, I was. Very nervous."
Barty hadn't even been past the fourth round in her first 17 Slam appearances before getting to the quarterfinals in front of a supportive home crowd at the Australian Open in January.
But she truly looked the part Saturday, with her formidable sliced backhand creating openings that she took advantage of with her topspin forehand, which produced 11 of her winners.
After the US Open five years ago, Barty walked away from professional tennis. She had been a successful junior, winning the 2011 Wimbledon girls' title, and played in three doubles finals by then, too.
But her time in cricket gave her a chance to reconsider how she wanted to approach he r other sport, and she returned to the WTA in 2016.
"It's been a magical two weeks," Barty said.
Addressing her coach and others in her guest box Saturday, Barty said: "Thank you guys for sticking with me. It's been the most amazing journey we've been on the last three years. And I feel like it's just the start. Let's go celebrate tonight."
The 38th-ranked Vondrousova was playing in only her ninth major tournament and this was her first trip beyond the fourth round.
She hadn't dropped a set over the past two weeks, using a game filled with variety and every shot in the book, a style her semifinal opponent, Johanna Konta, called "tricky."
Wasn't too tricky for Barty.
"She didn't let me play my game," Vondrousova said.
Thiem crushes Djokovic's hopes
Novak Djokovic's dream of becoming just the second man in history to hold all Grand Slam titles at the same time twice was crushed by Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros on Saturday.
Thiem downed the world number one 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 to set up a repeat of last year's final against 11-time winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, who was second best to Thiem when it came to mastering the gloom, wind and damp of Paris, was bidding to join Rod Laver in the Grand Slam history books.
However, it's 25-year-old Austrian fourth seed Thiem who goes on to face Nad al where he will be buoyed by having defeated the 17-time major winner four times on clay in his career.
He will also attempt to become just Austria's second Grand Slam men's champion after Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995.
Thiem did it the hard way, squandering a 4-1 final set lead and two match points before he sealed his place in the final.
"It was an amazing match. It was my first five-set match at Roland Garros so it was a good one to have," said Thiem after the four hour 13-minute match which was played over two days.
"To be in the semi-finals with the three best players of all time (Nadal beat Roger Federer in the other semi on Friday) is really amazing."
On the challenge of facing Nadal, who has had a day more to recover, he added: "It seems that anyone who gets to the final here plays Rafa.
"He will be the favourite but I hope to just leave it all out on the court again and we will see."
The semi-final had been controversially suspended overnight Friday with Djokovic complaining about the 'extreme wind' in the stadium.
When play was halted, with the top seed trailing 1-3 in the third set, there was still around two hours of daylight remaining.
However, tournament organisers defended the decision after winds of up to 80 km per hour were forecast throughout the evening in Paris.