• Ashleigh Barty title hopes at French Open have been delayed due to rain (AAP)Source: AAP
Australia's Ashleigh Barty has been made to wait before meeting Madison Keys in the French Open quarter-finals after Wednesday's play was completely rained off.
Source:
AAP
6 Jun 2019 - 6:39 AM  UPDATED 6 Jun 2019 - 6:39 AM

The weather gods have halted Ashleigh Barty's French Open charge, leaving Australia's title hope needing to win three matches in three days to lift the trophy.

Barty was holed up in the locker room for all but 10 minutes as persistent rain wiped out play on Wednesday, resulting in a gruelling new schedule for the remaining contenders.

Barty's quarter-final against American powerhouse Madison Keys was pushed back until Thursday (8pm AEST), with the winner to back up on Friday against either defending champion Simona Halep or American teenager Amanda Anisimova for a place in the final.

Sydney-born Brit Johanna Konta and 19-year-old Czech Marketa Vondrousova will contest Friday's other semi-final.

Apart from a brief spell hitting up on Court Suzanne Lenglen before ground staff scrambled to cover the courts as the heavens opened in Paris, Barty spent the rest of the day cooling her heels in the players' lounge.

But the unflappable star took the delay in her stride, taking to Twitter to celebrate her beloved Queensland's State of Origin rugby league series opening win over NSW.

"#QLDER," she posted, following up later with a thumbs-up emoji when play was officially abandoned.

A doubles finalist two years ago with Casey Dellacqua, Barty is bidding to become Australia's first French Open singles champion since Margaret Court in 1973.

Former US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini is the latest tennis great to jump on the Barty bandwagon after the 23-year-old cut a swathe through the draw to reach the last eight for the first time.

"I like Barty, the Australian player. I like her very much," Sabatini said.

"I saw her (win) in Miami. I really like the way she plays - her slice, backhand slice, I like very much. She's a very strategic player."

But to continue her stellar 2019 season, Barty must reverse a 6-3 6-2 first-round hammering at the hands of Keys two years ago - in a match she would love to forget.

Barty is a vastly different player now, as evidenced by her straight-sets victory over Keys during her unbeaten run this year in Fed Cup.

"So I think it's very much a fresh, clean slate from this match (like it was) at Fed Cup that we had as well," she said.

"Different surface. I mean, as different as you can probably get, indoor hard to an outdoor clay court."

After taking out Serena Williams' third-round slayer in her last match, Barty can repeat her Fed Cup double of the two Americans in back-to-back encounters, having beaten Sofia Kenin and Keys on successive days in February.

Victory over last year's semi-finalist and 2017 US Open runner-up Keys would also continue Barty's steady progression at the slams.

Barty has advanced one round better at each of the past three majors, following up a third-round effort at Wimbledon last year with a first-time foray to the last 16 in New York and then charging into the Australian Open quarter-finals in January.