• Australia's Ashley Barty with the trophy after victory over Germany's Julia Goerges in the Birmingham Classic. (Tim Goode/PA Wire-AAP)Source: Tim Goode/PA Wire-AAP
Ashleigh Barty soars to world No.1 with overnight win in Sunday's final of the Birmingham Classic and claims Wimbledon's top seed on the way.
By
NITV Staff Writer

24 Jun 2019 - 5:51 AM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2019 - 5:53 AM

Three years after quitting tennis suffering depression and home-sickness, and then remarkably forging a professional cricket career, Ashleigh Barty will overtake Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka and become the women's world No.1 tennis player when the new rankings are released later today. 

Barty cast friendship aside to down her German doubles partner Julia Goerges 6-3 7-5 in Sunday's final of the Birmingham Classic to not only secure the world No.1 ranking but also top-seeding status for Wimbledon starting on July 1.

In doing so, the French Open champion will join her mentor and Indigenous idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley as only the second Australian to top the WTA rankings since they were introduced in 1973.

A seven-times grand slam champion, Goolagong Cawley was No.1 for a fortnight in 1976. 

'An extremely proud Indigenous woman': Barty follows in the footsteps of Goolagong Cawley
Ash Barty has been propelled to world fame after claiming the women's singles trophy at Roland Garros, but to mob she was already a legend of the game.

John Newcombe, Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, who enjoyed 80 weeks at the summit between 2001 and 2003, are the only other players representing Australia to have scaled such heights in the modern era.

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

"What she's done for our sport for Australians all around the world, not just based in Australia, she's put us on the map.

"What she's done for Indigenous Australians as well, she's just been remarkable."

Barty is the 27th woman in 46 years to top the rankings - and the fourth-youngest in a decade.

"You always dream of it as a little kid for it but to become a reality, it's just incredible. It really is," Barty said.

"It's not something that was even in my realm. This year we were aiming for top 10 and now to be where we are is really a testament to all the people around me.

"I have the most incredible team with me who have been with me these last three years and we started at scratch three years ago without a ranking and now, to be where we are, is not only for me but it's a massive, massive achievement for them."

With just five defeats in almost eight months and a tour-topping 36 wins already this year, Barty's celebrations and ascension to the top are nothing but deserved.

Making a seamless transition from clay to grass, the Queenslander didn't concede a set in five matches in Birmingham.

She recovered from 3-0 down in the second set and saved a set point serving at 4-5 to see off Goerges, the world No.19 and a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, in one hour, 28 minutes.

Barty will head to Eastbourne on Monday for her last Wimbledon lead-up event riding a 12-match winning streak and having not dropped a set in seven outings on grass this year.

Barty always destined for super stardom
There's been twists and turns along the way but Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty has been destined for stardom since first picking up a racquet aged five.