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Delighted Barty on top of world after clinching Classic triumph

 

Ashleigh Barty
Ashleigh Barty

By Phil Casey

Ashleigh Barty became World No.1 in style with victory over doubles partner Julia Goerges in the final of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

The 23-year-old French Open champion beat Goerges 6-3 7-5 in 88 minutes and will replace Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings when they are updated today.

Barty did not drop a set all week and took the first set comfortably, but had to recover from 3-0 down in the second and saved a set point with an ace in the 10th game before breaking Goerges in the next and serving out to love.

Barty is just the second Australian woman to become World No.1 since the WTA introduced rankings in 1975, Evonne Goolagong Cawley spending two weeks as No.1 in 1976.

"I'm a little bit speechless at the moment," Barty (above) said during the on-court trophy presentation after extending her winning streak to 12 matches.

"It's been a whirlwind few weeks for me, a whirlwind year, but to be able to follow in the footsteps of Evonne, even to be mentioned in the same sentence as her is incredible.

"What she's done for our sport, for Australians all around the world, she's put us on the map and what she's done for indigenous Australians as well has just been remarkable."

Johanna Konta, meanwhile, eased into the second round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Dayana Yastremska.

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