I tweeted this a few months back that it was just a matter of time before Ash Barty would win a Singles Grand Slam event, well now the Queenslander has a chance as she’ll take on the Czech lefty Marketa Vondrousova who hasn’t dropped a set this whole tournament.
It’s the final nobody expected which makes it all the more interesting. Barty had never been beyond the 2ndRound at Roland Garros but her Grand Slam results have been trending up, making last years US Open 4thround and the QF’s at the Australian Open, she also comes into this final with a 30-5 match record for the year.
The 19 year old Vondrousova had lost in the 2ndround and 1stround in her only French Open appearances, this tournament has changed everything for these two players and with a win tonight they’ll be forever known as a Grand Slam Singles Champion.
Why Barty will win
It’s been 8 years since an Australian won a Women’s Slam Singles title, after Sam Stosur won the US Open, Stosur had a game a bit unique to the other players, that’s what Barty has, doubles has helped her immensely as it’s built confidence around the net, combine that with good touch and variety on the backhand and it’s a combination not many other players see in terms of court craft.
Barty should take a lot from yesterday’s semi against Anisimova, loses the first set after being up 5-0 and wins the second after being down 3-0, that’s a huge mental effort. She played at times scratchy but if she plays to her peak tonight there will be nothing Vondrousova can do.
Why Vondrousova will win
As much as Barty’s slice adds variety to her game last night it did hurt her for long periods, Anisimova crushed a few floated slices down the middle but when it got close in the third set Aninsmova blinked and throttled down her shots, Vondrousova won’t make that mistake, she has raw power and consistency from the baseline, match that with a wicked drop shot and the added fact she’s a lefty, its no wonder she hasn’t dropped a set this tournament. Youth can either be a hindrance or an advantage, if the 19 year old keeps her head and Barty hit’s too many slices she’ll win.
These players have played twice before and Barty holds a 2-0 edge, winning both in straight sets but they’ve never clashed on clay. In a Grand Slam final unless it’s a huge edge to one player I tend to ignore the head to heads as how to deal with the pressure and a player’s psychological make up is more important, playing a final in a Grand Slam compared to a $125K event in the middle of nowhere is mentally almost a different sport. This will be Vondrousova’s first time on Centre Court, let’s hope she doesn’t freeze. Barty is the better athlete, which really showed against Anisimova, I think that could be a factor here if it goes deep into a third set. Barty played a huge final earlier this year in Miami and won it, the last eight months have been a natural build up for her in arriving at this moment, its time for her to take the final step, I’m tipping Barty to win in 3 sets and lift her first Grand Slam Singles trophy.