Ash Barty pretty much played the perfect match from her perspective. She was cool, calm and composed, there was never really any big dip in her level against Marketa Vondrousova. That in itself is one of the most impressive things about her victory. It was a highly efficient, highly professional performance from start to finish. She gave up tennis to give cricket a go four and a half years ago and now here she is with a Grand Slam Title and a new world ranking of two. I don’t think any of us can argue that her style of tennis and variation are fantastic to watch. We know she has a grass court game so let’s see how quickly she can reset. She has understandably pulled out of Nottingham next week.
I think it is fair to say that for Vondrousova, her performance was not aided by the fact that the first time she had stepped foot on the Phillipe Chatrier was at 11 am today. It must have been a fair difference from the half-full Court Simonne-Mathieu they had scheduled her on, for her semi against Jo Konta. You never really felt she got into her flow for any sustained period, though she did offer a lot more in the second set. She only turns 20 at the end of this month, so you would hope this is just the start of it for her. She moves well, she hits well and she mixes it up well. It was nice to see two ladies trading slices today with conviction.
The Ladies finalists were made to wait initially, as rain and a long five setter with Djokovic and Thiem was still in progress, keeping them in the locker room. The wind was once again causing havoc when these two played. The truth is, over the two days Thiem dealt with it much better and that’s why he is in the final. Nole had a few run-ins with the umpire and on one restart at a key moment, he was robbed. I don’t believe this affected the result though. Djokovic had always been trailing in this but when he got it back on serve in the fifth. you thought he might kick-on. He didn’t. If anything it was the Serb who looked the tighter of the two, getting broke from 30/0 in his last two service games. Did the pressure get to him as he went for the ‘Djoko Slam’ again? I don’t think you can underestimate it but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Will Thiem have enough left in the tank for the final tomorrow? I feel for him as he deserves to be fresh playing Rafa, but it’s going to be hard to play five sets against Nadal if required. It is the ‘against Nadal’ that makes it look an insurmountable challenge.
Andy Del Potro