French Open 2019 Women's Final: Ashleigh Barty v Marketa Vondrousova Predictions

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2019

Ashleigh Barty advanced to the championship round of the French Open.
Ashleigh Barty advanced to the championship round of the French Open.Michel Euler/Associated Press

The march of the relatively unknown tennis players on the women's side of the French Open continued Friday with victories by eighth-seeded Australian Ashleigh Barty and unseeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in the semifinals.

Those two rising stars will meet Saturday in Paris to decide the championship.

Barty came through with an epic three-set victory over unseeded American Amanda Anisimova by a 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 score to punch her ticket to the title match, while Vondrousova defeated 26th-seeded Johanna Konta 7-5, 7-6 (2) to join her.

Anisimova had been one of the bright lights of the tournament prior to her loss, as she had taken out two seeded players, including No. 3 seed and defending champion Simona Halep.

Barty's semifinal win over the 17-year-old was marked by a shocking turnaround in the first set. The Australian got off to a rousing start as she built a 5-0 lead and was up two set points in the sixth game before Anisimova fought back to win the set in a tiebreaker.

Anisimova continued her momentum and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set. That's when Barty found her game won the next two sets.

The 23-year-old was able to rely on her power to get the edge in the match. Her serve topped out at 108 miles per hour, and she served five aces while Anisimova did not have any. Barty also delivered 40 winners to Anisimova's 21, per RolandGarros.com.

"I'm proud of the way I fought and found a way back into that match," Barty said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "It's just been an amazing journey that I've been on. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow."

Vondrousova was pushed hard by Konta, but she was able to keep her cool at the end of both sets to pull out the victory.

The 19-year-old trailed 5-4 in the first set and was on the verge of losing it, but she took the final three games for a 1-0 lead. She also trailed in the second set but hit back to force a tiebreaker that she won by a 7-2 margin.

Vondrousova excelled when she went to the net, winning 10 of 12 points, while Konta struggled to win nine of 24. The 28-year-old Briton also made 41 unforced errors, while her younger competitor was charged with just 22.



Barty won her first three matches in Paris in straight sets before she was pushed to three sets in the fourth round by Sofia Kenin.

After beating Kenin, who had knocked Serena Williams out of the tournament, the Aussie delivered an impressive straight-sets win over 14th-seeded Madison Keys, which sent her into the semifinals.

Vondrousova has been scorching hot throughout the French Open as she won her first four matches in relatively easy fashion, winning in straight sets each time and not losing more than four games in any of those sets.

She was pushed to a 7-6, 7-5 triumph by Petra Martic in the quarterfinals before her win over Konta. 

Vondrousova has not lost a set in the tournament and appears set to become one of the sport's next stars based on her play in Paris. Barty's up-and-down form in the semifinal against Anisimova revealed her inconsistency, and she won't have enough to allow her to get past her Czech opponent.

Vondrousova wins the championship on the red clay of Paris and becomes the first teenager to do so since Iva Majoli won the title in 1997.


All stats courtesy of RolandGarros.com.