Update: After beating Czech player Barbora Strycova, Ash Barty is just one win away from becoming the world number one.
If she beats Germany’s Julia Goerges in the Birmingham Classic final on Sunday night, she will become only the fifth Australian to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1973.
If she succeeds, the Queenslander will emulate the feats of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, John Newcombe, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt who are the only four Australians to have reached the summit of the tennis world
On Saturday night on the iconic terracotta clay of Paris’ Roland-Garros, Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian woman since Margaret Court in 1973 to win the French Open.
The 23-year-old beat unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 in Paris on Saturday to become Australia’s fourth French Open champion, and the first in 46 years.
It’s also the first Grand Slam final win for Barty, who is taking home $3.74 million from the tournament where she’d never passed the second round on five previous visits.
Her new ranking will be the highest of an Australian woman since Goolagong Cawley reached top spot in 1976, and she follows her idol’s footsteps by becoming the second Indigenous Australian to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup.
“I never dreamt that I’d be sitting here with this trophy here at the French Open. I mean, obviously we have dreams and goals as children, but this is incredible," Barty said of her win.
Just as quickly as she kissed her new silverware, holding the cup high above her head for the world to see, a brilliant photo of a young Ash Barty has surfaced on Twitter.