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French Open trophy gaffe gives Australia another champion

June 09, 2019 16:27 IST
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Ashleigh Barty

IMAGE: Australia's Ashleigh Barty poses with the trophy at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Ashleigh Barty won the French Open women's singles final on Saturday. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

When Ash Barty won the French Open title on Saturday she thought she was the first Australian woman to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen since Margaret Court in 1973.


According to the trophy, though, there was also an Australian champion in 1976.

Clearly nobody has told Sue Barker, the Briton who triumphed in Paris 43 years ago.

Barker, now aged 63 and from Paignton in south-west England, is a sports presenter for the BBC.

Ashleigh Barty

IMAGE: List of former winners is seen on the Suzanne Lenglen's trophy as Australia's Ashleigh Barty poses at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Photograph:Charles Platiau/Reuters

Back in 1976 she was a rising star and recorded her best Grand Slam result by winning in Paris aged 20, beating Czech Renata Tomanova in the final.

She reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon and the Australian Open the following year but never again played a Grand Slam final.

Galling, then, perhaps that her one moment of Grand Slam glory has been recorded for posterity on the trophy with the letters AUST next to her name, denoting Australia rather than the GBR for Britain.

It is not the only error on the trophy as under Barker comes 1977 champion Mima Jausovec, whose name is mis-spelt Jausevec.

French Open organisers told Reuters on Sunday that the mistakes would be fixed.

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