Roland Garros finalist returns to action in Adelaide after seven months



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Roland Garros finalist returns to action in Adelaide after seven months

The 20-year-old Marketa Vondrousova will finish the season in the top-16 despite skipping the second part of 2019, undergoing left wrist surgery in September and working on a comeback for the next season. After seven months, the young Czech will finally make a return in Adelaide in the week before the Australian Open, entering a strong field of players led by Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova.

Marketa had a breakthrough season in 2017, starting it from outside the top-400 and finishing in the top-70 thanks to the first WTA crown and numerous deep runs on the ITF level. An 18-year-old couldn't repeat that in the next season, facing injuries and ending 2018 season in September, just like she did a year later.

Still, Marketa has made a significant difference in comparison to 2018 despite playing only nine tournaments this year, reaching the final in Budapest and the quarter-final at both Indian Wells and Miami to make a name for herself and reveal her abilities on the big scene.

In the desert, Vondrousova took down Simona Halep and was ready for more in the following months, working hard on her game and advancing into the final in Istanbul in the last week of April, losing to Petra Martic in three sets despite a promising start.

In Rome, Marketa ousted Simona Halep once again, gathering the momentum ahead of Roland Garros that was only the ninth Major tournament in her career. It almost became a historical one, though, as the young Czech took down six rivals (she came to Paris with six Grand Slam wins overall) to become a surprising Major finalist, barely ranked inside the top-40.

In the first four rounds, Vondrousova was the player to beat in Paris, dropping 11 games in eight sets and taking down two seeds to advance into the quarter-final where she prevailed against Petra Martic to find herself in the semis.

There, Johanna Konta stood as another tough obstacle that Marketa passed in two tight sets for the place in the title match, standing a win away from tennis glory. Nonetheless, Ashleigh Barty was too strong for the youngster on that day, delivering a 6-1, 6-3 triumph to become the champion and leaving Marketa with the runner-up prize.

Instead of riding the wave of the success, Vondrousova started to deal with a left wrist injury, playing only three matches on grass and skipping the entire North American hard-court swing before that surgery that officially ended her thrilling 2019 season.

Vondrousova will try to find the form as soon as possible and continue where she left in Paris, hoping for deep runs in Adelaide and Melbourne and to compete injury-free.