Ash Barty is officially the top-ranked women’s tennis player in the world and the first Australian woman to hold the #1 spot since 1976, thanks to an emphatic win in the Birmingham Classic.
The Aussie ripper secured the victory and her place atop the international rankings with a 6-3, 7-5 win over German contender Julia Goerges. Barty didn’t drop a single set against her doubles partner, closing out the match with a dominant serving performance.
???????????????? For the first time since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976, there's an Australian world number-one, and her name is @ashbar96!! | Check out highlights + report from Barty's Birmingham title win https://t.co/zuu0xYHci6 #BartyParty #WTA pic.twitter.com/cT2TotVjqn
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_AUS) June 23, 2019
With the win, Barty is the first Australian woman to hold the ranking since her hero, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, spent a fortnight as World #1. She is also the first Australian overall to notch a #1 spot since Lleyton Hewitt sat atop the men’s rankings in 2003.
Speaking after the match, Barty thanked Goerges – who she said has “been there for me ever since I was just a little tacker running around annoying everybody” – before turning her praise to Goolagong Cawley.
“It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for me, it’s been a whirlwind year,” the 23-year-old said, underselling her French Open triumph.
“But to be able to follow in the footsteps of Evonne and even to be mentioned in the same sentence as her is incredible and what she’s done for our sport and Australians all around the world, she’s put us on the map. And what she’s done for Indigenous Australians has just been remarkable.”
Now sitting on a 12-match winning streak and a stunning 2019 record of 36 victories and six losses, Barty seems poised to head to Wimbledon as the #1 seed. But before that, Barty said she plans on celebrating by heading to Eastbourne for yet another ATP event. What an absolute gun.Source: News.com.au
Image: Jordan Mansfield / Getty Images