Speaking on Court Suzanne-Lenglen immediately after the end of the semi-final, Barty claimed somewhat improbably that she had “enjoyed every minute”. Presumably she did indeed relish capturing 17 of the first 18 points, to lead 5-1 and find herself holding two set points with just 15 minutes on the clock. But it stretches credulity that what came next was quite such a pleasure.
Anisimova, bidding to become the youngest finalist at Roland-Garros since Martina Hingis in 1997, astonishingly came roaring back to snatch the first set in the breaker, raising her arms above her head as if she had won the tournament itself.
When the teenager surged on to raid 12 of the opening 13 points in the second chapter for a 3-0 lead, Barty’s situation could hardly have looked bleaker. All the “big mo” – that expression beloved of American politicians with reference to key momentum – was with Anisimova.
But Barty, as a grand old lady aged all of 23, found deeper resources to call on. Not for nothing has Barty reached four slam doubles finals. As steady light rain set in and the temperature became ever colder, she turned up the heat and rattled out six straight games to turn the match on its head once more.