Ashleigh Barty has set her sights on becoming the next world number one after winning her first grand slam singles title at the French Open.
The 23-year-old Australian was the class of the field in Paris, defeating Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in the final.
Barty will climb to number two in the rankings on Monday, only 136 points behind top-ranked Naomi Osaka, and with her favourite part of the season, the grass, to come next.
She said: “Being number two in the world is incredible. It’s something I never dreamt of as a child and obviously we’ll keep chipping away and try our best to get to number one.
“A goal of mine this year was to try to crack the top 10. And then it was chipping away trying to get top five.
“It’s all happened pretty quickly over the last two weeks but we’re trying to take it in our stride. Obviously we’ll have a couple of quiet days now to relax, to celebrate and then set new goals.”
It is well documented that Barty’s path to the top has not been linear. Marked out as a future star very young, she won the Wimbledon junior title aged 15, but the pressure and the lifestyle took its toll.
“I realised that my first trip overseas was 10 years ago and it was to Paris,” she said. “It was my first taste of international tennis and my God it was terrible, it was scary, I hated every minute.”
Ashleigh Barty’s route to victory
- Jessica Pegula
- Danielle Collins
- Andrea Petkovic
- Sofia Kenin
- Madison Keys
- Amanda Anisimova
- Marketa Vondrousova.