No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

History on the line: Konta, Vondrousova, Barty aiming to break long-standing French Open droughts for their respective countries

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 6 Jun 2019
  • Konta, Vondrousova and Barty all trying to snap long-term title droughts for their respective nations at Roland Garros
  • Not since 1981 has any woman from Czech Republic, Great Britain and Australia won the French Open singles title
Johanna Konta (PA Images)

Johanna Konta, Marketa Vondrousova and Ashleigh Barty are all chasing personal milestones at Roland Garros as they attempt to secure a maiden Grand Slam title - but they are also aiming to snap long-time droughts for their respective nations in Paris.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

One of Konta and Vondrousova will have the chance to play the French Open final as they square off in the semi-finals on Friday, while Barty will face American powerhouse Madison Keys in a rain-delayed quarter-final on Thursday, and if she wins that, will meet either defending champion Simona Halep or rising American 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova in the final four.

Johanna Konta (PA Images)
Vondrousova and Barty have been touted as stars of the future for a while now, and it’s acceptable to say their runs deep into the second week haven’t been too big of a surprise, but the same can’t be said for Konta - at least from the start of the clay season.

The 28-year-old is the first British woman to reach the French Open semi-finals since Jo Durie did so in 1983. Konta hadn’t won a match at Roland Garros before last week and had only claimed seven match wins in WTA clay-court main draws between 2013 and 2018. But now, all of a sudden, Konta is two wins away from becoming the first British woman to secure the French Open title since Sue Barker in 1976.

Speaking to the BBC, Barker has backed Konta to go all the way, saying she is playing the ‘best tennis out of anybody’.

"Jo is playing the best tennis I have ever seen her play," Barker said. "It is her mental approach to matches. She used to have a wobble in matches and sometimes let the other player back in, but she just hasn't had that in any match," said Barker, a former world number three.
"She dropped one set but even in that match she looked really good. I am really impressed that she is playing that well for the whole match. Her confidence must be sky high, hitting the ball that well and feeling it so well.
"She can go all the way here, I think she is playing the best tennis of anybody."

Konta’s opponent in the semi-finals is also trying to break a long-standing drought at Roland Garros for her country.

Marketa Vondrousova (PA Images)
Vondrousova, who owns a stellar 27-5 record this season, is vying to become the first woman from the Czech Republic to win the French Open crown since Hana Mandlíková in 1981. Mandlíková was representing Czechoslovakia at the time, with Czech Republic and Slovakia not splitting into sovereign states until 1993.


Czech Republic has seen a number of players make the semi-finals over the last few years - Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova have made the final four, while Lucie Safarova finished runner-up to Serena Williams in 2015.

Vondrousova will also be looking for revenge against Konta after the Brit beat her in Rome just prior to Roland Garros.

"I played with her twice. I won one time and I lost in Rome," she said. "She has great form and it's going to be tough match, but we'll see.
"In semifinals, I think anything can happen. I think it's going to be very tough and great match, and I just can't wait to play."

Meanwhile, Miami champion Barty is continuing her spectacular year at the French Open, becoming just the fourth Australian woman to make the quarter-finals since Margaret Court won the last of her five Roland Garros titles in 1973, joining Wendy Turnbull (1979, 1980), Dianne Fromholtz (1979, 1980) and Samantha Stosur (2009, 2010, 2012, 2016). Turnbull made the final in 1979, falling to Chris Evert, while Stosur also finished runner-up in 2010 to Francesca Schiavone.

Barty is also being cheered on in Paris by the legendary Rod Laver, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his historic second calendar-year Grand Slam.



Barty also senses her huge chance to go all the way and secure a maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open, with Halep the only player left in the draw to have won a major.

"It's pretty incredible to be in this position now, deep into another slam, and a hell of an opportunity," she said.
"I feel like I'm in a very good place and enjoying myself."


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

History on the line: Konta, Vondrousova, Barty aiming to break long-standing French Open droughts for their respective countries

Johanna Konta, Marketa Vondrousova and Ashleigh Barty are all chasing personal milestones at Roland Garros as they attempt to secure a maiden Grand Slam title - but they are also aiming to snap long-time droughts for their respective nations in Paris.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages