Friday’s Set Points, 2019 French Open Day 13: Barty vs. Vondrousova for the title

The 2019 French Open final is all set for Saturday! Friday’s semi-finals were a dramatic pair of matches that featured plenty of twists of turns. Following on live scores was a hoot this morning 🤣. I won’t be able to watch the final live on Saturday so i’ll be turning off all social media notifications and watching back the match in the evening with much anticipation! Read on for my thoughts from Friday’s semi-finals in the penultimate post from Roland Garros.

Match reviews 🎾

Ash Barty d. Amanda Anisimova, 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3

Where to start with this one? I was losing my nut following the live scores!!! In an absolute rollercoaster contest, Ash Barty rallied from a set down to beat Amanda Anisimova in three wild sets 🎢🎢🎢.

A super aggressive, Barty took advantage of a nervous start from Anisimova to race into a 5-0 lead after just 15 minutes. Barty won 23 of the first 27 points of the match! The momentum soon swung when Barty missed two set points and Anisimova was able to get her side of the scoreboard ticking. Barty struggled to react the sudden surge in Anisimova’s form and threw in some uncharacteristic errors. Anisimova started to dictate rallies and go after the return as she won six games on the trot and then came from a mini-break down in the first set tiebreak.

Anisimova was absolutely peak at the start of the second set. Watching on live scores, i’d assumed that Barty had collapsed mentally. Not really the case when watching back as Anisimova hit some stunners. Barty showed so much resilience to turn the set around, much like Anisimova had done in the first set, to win six straight games and force a decider. Barty then recovered from an early break down in the third set to seal a landmark win.

Barty’s stats in the final two sets were very solid – 25 winners to 19 unforced errors, and 70% of points won behind the first set. I thought she started to handle Anisimova’s drop shots much better and find her aggressive streak again from the first set, eventually wearing down Anisimova. I don’t think there are many players out there who could have turned this match around like Barty did. Anisimova looked gutted at the end but what a great run. She’s going to win Majors in the future and this is just a stepping stone on her path.

Marketa Vondrousova d. Johanna Konta, 7-5 7-6(2)

Continuing her dream run in Paris, Marketa Vondrousova advanced to her first Slam final and without dropping a set! It was probably Vondrousova’s toughest match as she came back from deficits in both sets. Like her quarter-final match against Petra Martic, Vondrousova was forced to save three set points in the opener.

This was a tough loss for Konta, particularly with the opportunities she had as she served for both sets. Watching back the set points, I had my head in my hands. Konta got into a winning position on the first two at 5-3* 40-15* – the Brit missed on the final shot both times, going long with a forehand drive volley and then aiming down with a drop shot into the net.

Konta was never really the same player after that. The Brit stayed aggressive but just committed too many unforced errors. The variety that has been a real asset to her game at this tournament wasn’t as effective as Vondrousova read the majority of Konta’s drop shots. Vondrousova was incredibly stable and stayed in touch in both sets. A stunning passing shot winner down-the-line stole the show in the second set tiebreak.

A disappointing end for Konta but it shouldn’t take away from the tournament as a whole. I don’t think many would have foreseen Konta making the last four at the start of the tournament considering her record at the French. Another brilliant display from the ever-consistent, Vondrousova.

Hot shot of the day 🔥

What a shot from Vondrousova! Love the angle on the replay.

Press highlights 📰

This year’s finalists in press after their semi-final victories.

Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐

Very excited by the prospect of a Barty-Vondrousova final! The pair have played twice before with Barty leading the H2H, 2-0 with straight set wins in Birmingham (7-5 7-6(1), 2017) and Cincinnati (6-3 7-5, 2018). I have to admit that I don’t remember either of those match-ups. In my head I was thinking the H2H, and particularly playing on clay, might favour Vondrousova with her tireless defence and excellent movement on this surface.

The pair will both be contesting their third finals of the year. Barty won the biggest title of her career in Miami while Vondrousova has come up short in the two finals she has played this year, winning the first set in both, 6-1, but going onto miss out in three sets.

A final between Slam final newbies brings so many unknowns as you just never know how they will react to the situation mentally. Vondrousova has yet to drop a set and has been a picture of calm when down set points in her last two matches. Interesting to note that this final will be Vondrousova’s first ever match on the Phillippe Chatrier court!

Barty had her toughest match against Anisimova in the semi-final. The way she managed to turn the match around having blown opportunities in the first set was a huge mental effort. While her level wavered, the fact she was able to rely on her game when it really counted must give Barty so much belief in herself.

I’m going for Ash to win the whole caboodle.

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14 thoughts on “Friday’s Set Points, 2019 French Open Day 13: Barty vs. Vondrousova for the title

  1. I haven’t been Konta’s biggest fan in the last year or so, but she did so well I was warming to her again and was quite disappointed she didn’t get to the final. I hope her Roland Garros performance has given her increased confidence to achieve even greater things during the rest of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was disappointed for Konta, even more so after watching those missed set point opportunities in the first set. No doubt she’ll get even more attention now during this grass court season and at Wimbledon!

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    • I was too; I thought Jo was in with an excellent chance of making the final. I didn’t see that match and I’m not quite sure what happened; did she blow it by choking at the end of each set, or was it more that Marketa outplayed her?

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      • From where I was sitting, she was outplayed tactically by Vondrousova. Yes, Konta missed shots at the end of both sets, but she was having to hot bigger and play closer to the lines than she usually plays. Marketa was putting everything back and everytime with a different shot, spin or slice. I thought No was remarkably positive about things actually, still smiling even after missing certain shots. But to me, the better player won!

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      • Thanks Andrew. Yes, I’ve seen that before in slams where Jo’s got very close to the final stages and then come up against a player good enough to expose her limitations. It happened when she played Angie Kerber in the 2016 Australian Open (and to her credit Jo admitted as much, saying she was “beaten by a better player”), and again at Wimbledon 2017 when she played Venus, where it was clear that Venus was a class above her.

        What’s different this time though is that the player who beat her is still a teenager and has probably got plenty of room still to improve; she could even turn out to be another Petra. Maybe as British tennis followers we have to accept that a slam semi-final is as far as she’s likely to get, just as we did in the days of Tim Henman getting to the Wimbledon semis and no further.

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      • If Wozniacki and Halep can win a Slam, I see now reason why Jo can’t. She just has to be positive and keep going for it. Clay is really her weakest surface, so getting so close to a final is a terrific achievement which should only give her confidence going forward.

        As for Marketa and her game, it’s scary how good she could be with a few improvements. Her serve really doesn’t utilitize the lefty advantages out wide, and she’s awfully predictable on the second serve. But even with those weaknesses, she moves so well after serving that her opponents can only take advantage by being relentlessly aggressive.
        I would also like to see her hitting more forehand down the line. She opens up the court so we’ll with the cross court forehand, she would really shorten points by then hitting it down the line. She hits with so much spin that it would be such a reliable play, and it would be just devastating for her opponents!

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  2. I watched both of their previous matches and both were low-key and uneventful. However, I think that will have absolutely no bearing on tomorrow’s match where just about anything could happen. After the last couple of weeks, I’m making no predictions! Watching both of today’s matches live was a surreal experience – the glorious unpredictability of sport!

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      • Surely, Konta, Barty and Anisimova will all play much better on grass. What chance does anyone else have?!

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      • Looking forward to the grass as well. If their clay forms remain true, it should make for an exciting Wimbledon. Ash Barty is a former junior grass champion. Unlike the clay though, you can’t forget about the perennial grass court Queens.

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  3. I thought Marketa showed amazing courage and resilience today. I missed the opening two games, so when I turned on the tv and saw the score I thought the worst. But she kept it close with impeccable defence and variety. She seems to be one of those players who really brings her best when she has her back against the wall. She was remarkably composed in closing out both sets actually!

    No idea how to fall the win, but since I love both players I’m already thrilled. I just hope it’s a good match with great rallies!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will take Vondrousova as winner, i’m not the good at predictions though, as i was sure 100% Halep will be the winner of this:))). Hope for a good battle and a enjoyable final.

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