Barty achieves long-held goal of reaching top 10
Ash Barty becomes just the ninth Australian woman in the history of the WTA rankings to crack the coveted top 10.
By beating Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open, Ash Barty ensured she would rise into the world’s top 10 when next week’s rankings are released.
It is a notable victory for Barty – it marks her first win in five attempts over Kvitova, sends her through to her first WTA Premier Mandatory-level semifinal, and is projected to bump her up to world No.9.
The 22-year-old Australian has been open about the fact she was targeting a place in the game’s elite ranking class, and she was thrilled to finally get there.
Q. Looks like you finally now got your top 10. How does that feel?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Bloody good. (Smiling.)#MiamiOpen
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) March 27, 2019
“There you go. How bloody good (laughter),” she responded when told it was official.
“It’s been a goal of mine – that’s no secret. And it’s amazing what happens when you put your hopes and dreams out into the universe, and do the work. It’s amazing.
“I had an opportunity last week that I wasn’t able to grab, and this week was about coming here and continuing to try and trust the process and enjoy the journey that I’m on. It’s a pretty beautiful thing, being able to play tennis for a living.”
The missed opportunity Barty refers to was against Elina Svitolina at Indian Wells; had she beaten the Ukrainian in the fourth round, she would have risen inside the top 10. She ultimately lost in an epic three-set affair spanning more than three hours.
What a way to rebound in the second of the “Sunshine Double” tournaments.
Barty becomes just the ninth Australian woman – after Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, Kerry Reid, Dianne Balestrat, Wendy Turnbull, Jelena Dokic, Alicia Molik and Sam Stosur – to crack the top 10 since the WTA rankings were introduced in 1975.
|Player||Cracked top 10||Career-high rank|
|Margaret Court||3 Nov 1975||No.5 (21 Feb 1977)|
|Evonne Goolagong Cawley||3 Nov 1975||No.1 (26 Apr 1976)|
|Kerry Melville Reid||3 Nov 1975||No.7 (4 Jul 1976)|
|Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat||14 Sep 1976||No.4 (19 Mar 1979)|
|Wendy Turnbull||27 Nov 1977||No.3 (7 Jan 1985)|
|Jelena Dokic||8 Oct 2001||No.4 (19 Aug 2002)|
|Alicia Molik||31 Jan 2005||No.8 (28 Feb 2005)|
|Samantha Stosur||22 Mar 2010||No.4 (21 Feb 2011)|
|Ashleigh Barty*||1 Apr 2019*||No.9 (1 Apr 2019)*|
Barty is the first Australian in almost a decade to achieve the feat – Stosur was the last, in March 2010 – and is the youngest Australian to do so since an 18-year-old Dokic back in 2001.
She is the first player from her country to appear in the top 10 since Stosur last ranked there in June 2013.
What’s more, Barty becomes the only player in the world, female or male, to currently rank inside the top 10 in both singles and doubles.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s a goal that we set at the start of the year, and it’s been a goal of mine for a long time now. And it’s amazing that I’ve been able to achieve it,” she said.
“But there’s still a long way to go and I’m not satisfied – I’m still hungry to get better as a person and as a player. And if that means the ranking gets higher and higher, that’s pretty cool as well.”
Rankings are calculated on a players’ results in the past 12 months. And Barty’s have been extremely impressive.
In the 19 tournaments she has played in that time, she has fallen in the first round just once – to Maria Sharapova in Rome. She owns a 35-9 win-loss record on hard courts in that time and has built a 45-2 record in matches during which she has won the first set.
|Won||2018 – Nottingham, WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai|
|Final||2019 – Sydney|
|SF||2018 – Strasbourg, Montreal, Wuhan; 2019 – Miami*|
|QF||2018 – Eastbourne; 2019 – Australian Open|
|4R||2018 – US Open; 2019 – Indian Wells|
|3R||2018 – Charleston, Wimbledon, Cincinnati|
* still alive in the tournament
She’s currently the holder of two titles and reached the final in Sydney in January, and achieved her best Grand Slam result at the recent Australian Open. She also progressed to the semifinals at prestigious WTA tournaments in Montreal, Wuhan and now Miami.
This year alone, her win-loss record is 16-3, including six wins over top 20-ranked opponents – more than she recorded during the entire 2018 season.
Almost all of her very best results have been achieved since a watershed moment at Wimbledon in July, where she led Daria Kasatkina 4-1 in the opening set of their third-round match before unravelling.
“I think it’s been a massive difference since Wimbledon last year – I think for me that was a bit of a turning point,” Barty revealed.
“We’ve done a lot of hard work over the last eight, nine, 10 months, whatever it is, to try and get that little bit better and try and try and tick every box that we can.
“I feel like that’s made an amazing difference in my tennis, and both (in) me as a person and a player.”