Mona Barthel (born 11 July 1990) is a German professional tennis player. She has won two singles and one doubles title on the WTA circuit as well as five singles and one doubles title on the ITF tour in her career. On 18 March 2013, Barthel reached her best singles ranking of world number 23. On 27 January 2014, she peaked at world number 77 in the doubles rankings.
Mona Barthel was born in Bad Segeberg to Wolfgang Barthel, who won the shot put event at the 1970 European Junior Athletics Championships in Paris, and Dr. Hannelore. She was raised in a tennis-playing family, and took an interest in the game at age 3. She has cited Steffi Graf as an inspiration. Barthel moved to Neumünster, where she completed her Abitur in 2009, having attended the Klaus Groth Schule.
Barthel played her first ITF tournament in July 2007 in Frinton where she qualified for the main tournament and reached the quarterfinals, losing to Jade Curtis. In July 2008, she reached the finals of the Frinton tournament, losing to Tara Moore, and the $10,000 event in Gausdal, losing to Svenja Weidemann. She also reached the doubles final in Gausdal partnering Weidemann, where they lost to Tegan Edwards and Marcella Koek. Her first ITF tournament victory was in January 2010 at the $10,000 ITF tournament in Wrexham, beating Anne Kremer of Luxembourg in straight sets. In February 2010, she reached the doubles final of the $50,000+H Biberach tournament, partnering Carmen Klaschka, losing to Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro and Selima Sfar. In April 2010, she won the singles title at the $50,000 Torhout tournament, beating Rebecca Marino in the final, and also won in doubles, partnering Justine Ozga, defeating Hana Birnerová and Ekaterina Bychkova in the final.
In Doha, Qatar, she reached the second round, but lost to new world number 1 Victoria Azarenka. After passing her opening round in Indian Wells at the BNP Paribas Open, she was drawn to verse Azarenka again, a match in which she played the best tennis of her career as she led 4–1 in the third set and served for the match twice but eventually lost. After a comprehensive victory over Gréta Arn at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Barthel defeated 13th seed and former number 1 Jelena Janković before losing in the third round to another in-form unseeded opponent, Ekaterina Makarova.
As the sixth seed at the e-Boks Sony Ericsson Open in Copenhagen, Barthel beat Johanna Larsson and Alberta Brianti to reach the quarterfinals where she lost to second seed and fellow German Angelique Kerber despite leading in the final set and holding match points.
Barthel was given a wildcard into the 2012 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in her home country. In the first round she defeated former world number 1 and French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic. In the second round, Barthel recorded her first victory against a top 10 player by defeating world number seven and seventh seed in her biggest career win to date, Marion Bartoli. She played world number 1 Victoria Azarenka for the fourth time that year, losing in three sets. Barthel reached the semifinals of the Swedish Open in Båstad, losing to Polona Hercog.
After reaching the semifinals of the ASB Classic and the final of the Hobart International, Barthel won her second WTA title and first premier title at the Open GDF Suez in Paris, where she defeated Sara Errani in straight sets. This win moved Barthel up to 28 in the world rankings. Barthel's next tournament was at the Qatar Total Open, where she beat Yulia Putintseva in the first round and took out the 5th seed Angelique Kerber in straight sets. She lost in the third round to Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets. At the Premier Mandatory event in Indian Wells, Barthel made it to the fourth round, including wins over Kiki Bertens and former world number 1 and 11th seed Ana Ivanovic. She lost to Samantha Stosur in the fourth round. After this tournament, her ranking rose to a career high of world number 23.
Barthel started her clay court season by participating at the 2013 Family Circle Cup, where she was seeded 8th. After receiving a bye into the first round, she lost to American Jessica Pegula, despite serving for the first set. Representing Germany for the first time, Barthel travelled to Stuttgart to play the Fed Cup World Group Play-off. In her first match she lost to Ana Ivanovic in three sets but beat Bojana Jovanovski to bring the tie all-square at 2–2. After Sabine Lisicki and Anna-Lena Grönefeld beat the Serbian doubles team, it secured Germany their place in the 2014 Fed Cup World Group.
Barthel then played at the indoor clay event in Stuttgart but lost in the first round to Lucie Šafářová. In doubles she partnered with fellow German Sabine Lisicki where they beat experienced players, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza in the final. This was Barthel's first doubles title.
Barthel's next tournament was the 2013 Mutua Madrid Open where she lost to Kirsten Flipkens in the first round. She had to withdraw the Premier 5 tournament in Rome, due to a stomach illness. At the second Grand Slam of the year in Paris, she lost to Angelique Kerber in the first round, despite having set points in the first set tie-break. Mona's scheduled tournaments for the grass court season were in Birmingham, 's-Hertogenbosch and Wimbledon. She lost to young American and Madison Keys in Birmingham and Garbiñe Muguruza in 's-Hertogenbosch. At the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, Barthel advanced to the second round for the first time in her career, but was again on the losing end to Keys.
To kick off the summer hardcourt season in North America, Barthel's first tournament was the 2013 Citi Open where she was seeded 6th. She beat Switzerland's Stefanie Vögele in the first round but lost to the eventual finalist Andrea Petkovic in the second round. In Toronto she reached the second round but lost to Sloane Stephens in three sets. She had a good preparation for the US Open in Cincinnati where she defeated Lucie Šafářová and upset Maria Kirilenko. She faced Serena Williams in her next match but lost in round three. At the last Grand Slam of the year in New York, Barthel made it to round two where she lost to Alison Riske. In doubles, she partnered up with Līga Dekmeijere where they reached the second round, losing to the 16th seed pairing of Jelena Janković and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni.
Barthel plays aggressively, and is primarily known for her power and movement. She is noted for having a strong serve and for hitting shots down the line, as well as for a tendency to approach the net. In her straight-sets victory at the 2013 GDF Suez, she hit 53 winners. Barthel produces deep groundstrokes, and hits powerfully on both the forehand and backhand sides.
On defense, she is noted for her aggressive return of serve, as well as for her scrambling ability.