Ashleigh Barty is one win away from becoming a member of Australian tennis royalty after reserving her spot within the Birmingham Traditional ultimate.
Barty, after beating Czech veteran Barbora Strycova in Saturday’s semi-final, will change into solely the fifth Aussie world No.1 if she wins Sunday’s decider towards Petra Martic or Julia Goerges.
If she succeeds, the French Open champion will emulate the feats of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, John Newcombe, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt who’re the one 4 Australians to have topped the tennis world since rankings had been launched in 1973.
Barty’s 6-Four 6-Four victory over the world No.50 was her 11th in succession and prolonged her 2019 document to 35-5 – the most effective of any participant on the WTA tour.
“I served very well within the second set to keep up a correspondence and knew I wanted to take my likelihood after I obtained one,” Barty mentioned.
“On grass, she may be very efficient and it was essential for me to get on prime on my rallies and use my forehand as a lot as I might.”
Barty will play doubles with Goerges in a while Saturday and has the possibility to duplicate Maria Sharapova’s 2004 achievement of profitable the singles and doubles titles at Birmingham.
“We obtained shut right here within the 2017 ultimate but it surely’s good to be in one other ultimate and, no matter occurs, occurs,” she mentioned.
Barty’s final defeat got here on Could 16 towards Kristina Mladenovic on the Italian Open in Rome.
Success in Birmingham could be her third match win in an impressive three months after victory at Roland Garros and in March at Miami.
It continues her phenomenal turnaround since returning to tennis in 2016, with a rating of 623, after an 18-month sabbatical and enjoying cricket within the WBBL with Brisbane Warmth.
Ought to Barty elevate the title, she’s going to usurp Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka and change into solely the 27th lady in 49 years to carry the No.1 rating and head to Wimbledon because the top-seeded participant.