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"Still the same person." The photo that tells you what you need to know about Ash Barty.

Update: After beating Czech player Barbora Strycova, Ash Barty is just one win away from becoming the world number one.

If she beats Germany’s Julia Goerges in the Birmingham Classic final on Sunday night, she will become only the fifth Australian to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1973.

If she succeeds, the Queenslander will emulate the feats of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, John Newcombe, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt who are the only four Australians to have reached the summit of the tennis world

*****

On Saturday night on the iconic terracotta clay of Paris’ Roland-Garros, Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian woman since Margaret Court in 1973 to win the French Open.

The 23-year-old beat unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in Paris on Saturday to become Australia’s fourth French Open champion, and the first in 46 years.

It’s also the first Grand Slam final win for Barty, who is taking home $3.74 million from the tournament where she’d never passed the second round on five previous visits.

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“I never dreamt that I’d be sitting here with this trophy here at the French Open." Image: Getty.

Her new ranking will be the highest of an Australian woman since Goolagong Cawley reached top spot in 1976, and she follows her idol’s footsteps by becoming the second Indigenous Australian to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup.

“I never dreamt that I’d be sitting here with this trophy here at the French Open. I mean, obviously we have dreams and goals as children, but this is incredible," Barty said of her win.

Just as quickly as she kissed her new silverware, holding the cup high above her head for the world to see, a brilliant photo of a young Ash Barty has surfaced on Twitter.

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The image from 2002 shows a six-year-old Barty, who grew up in Springfield, Queensland, holding up her racquet and a junior's trophy.

Thanks to her years of hard work and a perfect French Open campaign, Barty has cemented her place as a genuine legend of Australian tennis. But as many tennis greats and fans from around the world have pointed out, she's still the same kind-natured, hard working person as the smiling young girl in the photo.

Barty's boyfriend Garry Kissick shared a photo of his partner after her win, writing," Amazing! The puppies and I are so proud of you baby! Many more to come."

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Amazing! The puppies and I are so proud of you baby! Many more to come ❤????

A post shared by Garry Kissick (@gazlfc90) on

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Among others to congratulate Barty were Lleyton Hewitt, Andrea Petkovic, Nick Kyrgios, Billie Jean King, John Millman, Alex De Minaur, Pat Cash, Simona Halep, Lucas Pouille, and Dylan Alcott, who also made history this week by becoming the first ever French Open Roland Garros Quad Wheelchair Champion.

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Just as good as a tiny Ash Barty is this footage of American tennis great Chris Evert pointing and giving Barty the thumbs up, which has naturally been turned into a motivational meme.

Congratulations Ash Barty. We can't wait to see what you do next.

You can read more about Ash Barty's French Open win and how she got to where she is today in our full Ash Barty profile here.

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