Australia's Ashleigh Barty poses with the trophy Suzanne Lenglen after winning against Czech Republic's Marketa Vondrousova at the end of the women's singles final match on day fourteen of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris.
"She's won a grand slam doubles and we've played a number of finals".
Over the past few years, she has become a mentor and friend with Barty, exchanging frequent texts, phone calls and having get-togethers when Barty is back in Australia. In the past, she had plenty of trouble with the way clay dulls powerful serves and other strokes, as well as the footwork it requires.
While the match was no classic, those fans who had taken a break after the conclusion of the Dominic Thiem-Novak Djokovic men's semi-final which had caused the women's final to run more than an hour late, missed some of the more thoughtful tennis played on the Roland Garros clay this past fortnight.
"Because she won junior Wimbledon, everyone assumed grass would be her best surface".
Any doubt about Ashleigh Barty's popularity inside and outside the tennis world has been blown away by the incredible reaction to her French Open triumph.
"Amazing! The puppies and I are so proud of you baby!"
Sure is. But Barty does appear to have the required skill, the willingness to adapt within a match and the desire to improve that could make her someone to watch for years. It nearly seemed as though the 23-year-old could do no wrong. "We'd started again, we'd made it to the final and it was just taken out of our hands, I think".
"I don't think she is a one-Slam wonder".
After a win, Barty has now moved to a career-high No.2 ranking, behind Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka. Despite starting most tournaments that year as a Qualifier, Barty appeared to remove opponents easily to go fairly deep into tournaments on hard courts, clay, and grass, and that is perhaps the strongest indicator of her all-court game - one that removed a number of seeded players from a number of tournaments that year. "For me, I needed time to step away, to live a normal life, because this tennis life certainly isn't normal".
So Barty walked away, becoming a pro in another sport: cricket. But it must be noted that her meteoric re-rise up the rankings was, in its most significant parts, due to consistent hard work from the 23-year-old, and it was perhaps her 2017 season that truly made that return possible.
But now, with a fresh perspective and a new confidence, she is a whole new person - on the court and off.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said: "it is only a great tennis player, she is also a great Ambassador for Australia".
The City of Lights was the site of the young Aussie's first experiences away from home and, for her, a scary glimpse at what life might be like as a full-time traveling professional tennis player.
Barty had never been past the fourth round of a major until getting to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open this January.
"It's a special place for Australian players, so I'm incredibly proud of what I've been able to achieve and it's been an incredible two weeks".
The one thing missing in her tool chest was perhaps the killer instinct. "That was the thing I thought would put her ahead of Vondrousova", Dellacqua.
It was in Paris that a 13-year-old Barty got her first taste of life on the road when she joined a group of fellow Australian junior hopefuls competing at an worldwide event.
Court won more Grand Slam titles than anyone else, 24.
And by the time she was 18, she had quit the game. exhausted of the grind, loneliness and pressure of tennis.
Martina Navratilova on ITV4 said: "This could be a great springboard for her".
"We came into this tournament not expecting too much, just working on each match and trying to get through as far as we could, and she made it all the way".
Who knows what's next?