Ash Barty Child Photo Goes Viral As Aussie Star Climbs To World No. 2
The Barty Party has officially begun!
Australian champ Ash Barty beat Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in Paris to claim the French Open, becoming Australia's fourth ever French Open champion and the first in 46 years.
Not long after, another photo of Barty holding a trophy was being shared.
The photo, of a six or seven-year-old Barty, was taken in 2002 after a junior tennis win. It quickly went viral on Twitter, with one quick-minded person photoshopping the French Open's La Coupe des Mousquetaires on it.
"That photo has gone far and wide across the world," Barty said with a smile, when asked about it by British broadcaster ITV.
Barty's win means she'll rise to No. 2 in the world, making her the highest ranked Australian woman since Evonne Goolagong was No. 1 in 1976.
She is also the first Indigenous major champion since Goolagong's Wimbledon triumph in 1980.
“Evonne sent me a text a couple days ago ... I spotted her name on the trophy,” Barty said, according to reports.
“It's amazing what she's done for Indigenous tennis ... hopefully we can continue to create those opportunities for kids to know this (can be) a career."
The congrats are coming in far and wide, with everyone from tennis greats Pat Cash and Billie Jean King to Indigenous athletic legend Cathy Freeman cheering the 23-year-old on.
Tennis great Rod Laver, who was watching Barty from the stands, jumped on the court for a photo with the champion after her win.
Barty's new No. 2 rank will officially arrive on Monday, with a chance she could even arrive at Wimbledon next month as World No. 1.
From a ranking of No. 623 on her return from a 21-month hiatus, Barty cracked the top 50 for the first time barely a year later.
She entered the top 20 in October 2017, after landing her first WTA title in Kuala Lumpur.
Lauded for her rare ability to play chess on a tennis court, Barty entered the top 10 for the first time in March after claiming her fourth, fifth and sixth top-eight scalps of the season en route to glory at tennis's "fifth major" in Miami.
Unbeaten in six singles and doubles rubbers while leading Australia to its first Fed Cup final this year since 1994, Barty has won more matches during her milestone-filled 2019 season than any other player in the world.
Just one more win and Barty will have her name etched alongside Court, Goolagong Cawley and Lesley Bowrey as only the fourth Aussie woman on the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.