Roland Garros 2019: Barty breezes to first major as Rafa again reigns supreme over Thiem

It’s been another great tournament in Paris, we’ve had some rain, wind and plenty of fire.

The second week continued where the first left off, namely dramatic matches of high quality and plenty of shocks and surprises along with some constants.

There was yet again a continuation too of the strength in feign of the women’s tour, contrasted with the top for seeds making up the men’s semi finals.

Ashleigh Barty has of course been in fine form for a while, but always seemed to crumble in the latter stages of a slam, a victim of the occasion too often.

Here though the down-to-earth Australian looked grounded and confident; her unconventional and refreshingly varied game proving far too tricky for all comers.

In beaten finalist Marketa Vondrousova we have a comparatively more traditional baseline slugger but the youngster has a decent volley game too. Her tears were not really justified, she will be back one hopes.

Again though, in both the finalists and others, we were reminded of the strength and variety on the WTA. The unfancied likes of Konta, Anisimova, Kenin and Martic helped light up the tournament as well as the established favourites who still did deliver. Halep, Muguruza, Keys and Stephens were up against inspired players.

The men? Well it was again Rafa’s court here, and once more he faced Dominic Thiem in the final. A contest which at times sparkled into life, particularly as the young Austrian took that second set. But then Rafa produced the kind of performance he had to bring against Fed in the previous round, it was too much for Thiem and remains far too much for anybody to handle still.

Federer can be happy with a SF showing, albeit with an easy first week, his match with Nadal was closer than that scoreline suggested. Djokovic did his debatable image no favours with some questionable conduct during his semi final exit to the brilliant Thiem.

Away from the inevitability of Rafa’s brilliance, this tournament perhaps salutes yet again the very real return of the one handed backhand. Tsitsipas Vs Wawrinka one of the many splendid showcases this last fortnight.


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