Paris: Ashleigh Barty said that she "certainly" did not think the French Open would be her first Grand Slam title, but with the Roland Garros crown sealed, she will head into the next few majors as one of the favourites and targeting her "next goal" of becoming the world number one.
The Australian, the first player from her country to win in Paris since Margaret Court in 1973, took a break from tennis in 2014 to play professional cricket.
But the 23-year-old has rapidly risen up the rankings since returning without a world ranking, and will be the world number two on Monday.
Her dominant 6-1, 6-3 final victory on Saturday over Czech teenager French Open 2019will certainly have her earmarked as a player who can consistently compete on the biggest stage.
"Certainly not here, that's for sure. It's just been an amazing journey that we've had over the last few years," Barty said.
"I just tried to tell myself on the court that I may never get this opportunity again, so enjoy it, try and grab it with both hands and go out there and smile.
"It's new territory for me going deep into Slams, that was the goal. One of our goals is to continue to do that."
Now the number-one ranking is well within her reach, with Naomi Osaka only holding a narrow lead at the summit, and Barty has the Japanese star in her sights.
"Obviously, that's the next point, the next goal, the next situation I can see myself in," she said.
"Being number two in the world is incredible and something I never dreamt of as a child and we'll keep chipping away and try our best to get to number one."
'Body was shot' after comeback event
Barty played for the Brisbane Heat cricket team in the Women's Big Bash League four years ago, playing nine matches with a top score of 39.
"No, not at all," she said of her hopes of winning a Grand Slam when she started her comeback with a surprising run to the semi-finals at Eastbourne in 2016.
"I was very nervous (at Eastbourne) because I didn't even know if I would get in the draw," she said.
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Updated Date: Jun 09, 2019 14:52:02 IST