To mark the end of a record-setting 2019 season, wtatennis.com is counting down our picks for the best matches of the year.
Kicking off the countdown in the Grand Slam category at No.5 is Ashleigh Barty's semifinal comeback against Amanda Anisimova at the French Open, which helped set the stage for the Aussie's incredible ascent.
WHAT HAPPENED: Ashleigh Barty ended the year on top of the world, but were it not for a big comeback against American teenager Amanda Anisimova at the French Open, the second half of the 2019 season might've looked a lot different.
The story is now easily told: following the biggest singles title of her career at the Miami Open in March, Barty, seeded No.8 in Paris, ran the table in seven consecutive matches, and beat Marketa Vondrousova for her first Grand Slam singles title.
Nonetheless, the Aussie was given all she could handle by 17-year-old Anisimova, who dethroned defending champion Simona Halep in the previous round and was mere games away from setting up an all-teenage clash for the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.
It seemed as though Barty would have an uncomplicated road through to her first Grand Slam final as she won 16 of the first 17 points and held two set points to bagel the American teenager in the opener.
By the close of the clash on Court Suzanne Lenglen, however, the eventual champion needed to battle from a set and a break down to advance to her first-ever Grand Slam singles final.
From 5-0, 15-40 ahead in the opening set, Barty lost six consecutive games, and Anisimova eventually stole the opener in a tiebreak by winning the last five points.
Buoyed by her momentum, the New Jersey native ran off 17 consecutive points en route to taking a one-set lead and building a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Barty authored a pair of comebacks to ultimately claim victory.
She won six consecutive games to stretch the match to a decider, and also rallied from a break down in the deciding set to seal the 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 semifinal win.
Read the match report: Battling Barty holds off Anisimova to reach French Open final
WHAT THEY SAID: Following the roller-coaster encounter, which lasted just shy of two hours, both players offered an insight on their mentalities over the course of the ever-changing match.
"The occasion, the conditions, it was pretty brutal out there," Barty said. "I'm just proud of myself the way I was able to fight and scrap and hang in there and find a way when I kind of threw away that first set.
"I think the reset was easy after the first set. It was kind of during it that was the toughest bit. I played some really good tennis. I played some pretty awful tennis. At the end of the day, I think I was able to scrap and fight and find a way to keep competing, and that's probably the best part that came out of today."
Alternating between calling the experience amazing and disappointing in her post-match press conference, Anisimova was nonetheless upbeat about her best-ever Slam result, in just her fourth appearance in a major main draw.
"It's amazing even though I'm obviously upset I lost, because I'm always upset if I lose, because it's disappointing," the American said.
"But at the end of the day, I did make it to the semifinals for the first time. So, I mean, it's a positive week for me. I'm just going to try and be happy about the couple of weeks, and hopefully today I'll be a little bit happier than I am right now.
"I'm really happy that I finished the last clay tournament like this, because the clay season has been up and down. So it's just amazing to do so well in a clay Grand Slam. I'm just really happy about these couple of weeks...I gained a lot of confidence in the past couple of weeks."
WHAT IT MEANT: The victory was a harbinger of things to come for Barty both on the court and in the WTA rankings.
By just reaching the final, the 23-year-old was assured of rising to World No.3, the highest ranking by an Australian woman since Wendy Turnbull ranked that high in the week of Jan. 21, 1985.
By going one better and hoisting the trophy, becoming the first Australian in over 40 years to win the women's singles in Paris, she ascended to World No.2.
Kicked off by her first Slam triumph in Paris, Barty ultimately strung together 15 consecutive victories on the match court, which included a win at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham in June, and her first ascent to the World No.1 ranking the next week.