Less than two years after her comeback, Ashleigh Barty held a notable trophy in her hands, winning the doubles crown in Miami with CoCo Vandeweghe. They went on to win the US Open title six months later and Barty would never look back from there, embracing a fantastic singles season in 2019 to become a Major champion and the year-end no.
1. Ashleigh kicked off the year with the final in Sydney and the quarter-final at the Australian Open, finding momentum and conquering the title in Miami to crack the top-10 for the first time in a career. Also, the Ipswich native led Australia in the Fed Cup final in April against Belarus, becoming the first player with six victories in live Fed Cup rubbers in the first two ties of the World Group.
Barty saved her best tennis for Roland Garros, earning the first Major crown in Paris and adding the Premier title in Birmingham before an early exit at Wimbledon. The Aussie became world no. 1 ahead competing at the All England Club, staying there the most of the time despite not playing that well in the next couple of tournaments, suffering losses in the semi-final in Cincinnati and Wuhan and the final in Beijing before another memorable campaign in Shenzhen in the season-ending event.
Barty conquered the WTA Finals to confirm the year-end no. 1 status and fasten her position on the WTA throne ahead of 2020 season and home events in Australia where she wants to chance more titles, especially in Melbourne.
CoCo Vandeweghe praised her former doubles partner (their last tournament together came at the WTA Finals 2018) and everything she achieved in 2019, remembering the days when they couldn't wait for the clay season to end and expressing her joy about Ashleigh at the top of the women's tennis.
"When she won the French Open, I told her: you remember, the year before, when we were both counting down the weeks until grass-court season? Yeah, I think you're going to be counting away from the weeks of grass-court season now," Vandeweghe said.
"It's been fantastic what she's done. When we started playing doubles, she always called me 'big dog' and things like that, but it was very much flipped the opposite when we were playing doubles. Granted, she's worked hard and she has achieved all these great things."