Ash Barty was rattled by Naomi Osaka ranking claims

Ashleigh Barty
Ashleigh Barty poses for a photo with her French Open title last year. (Getty Images)

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Ash Barty might be the World No.1 but some quarters questioned her ranking and brought up Naomi Osaka

Women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty has revealed that she was “a little rattled” by questions over her ranking as world No 1 by fellow tennis star Naomi Osaka earlier this year. And added that question marks over her ranking motivated her even more during the season.

Barty has been now women’s World No.1 since September 2019 and also became the eighth woman to reach 100 career weeks at the top of the tree. Barty won Wimbledon earlier this year, her second Grand Slam after she won the French Open in 2019.

Ashleigh Barty defeated Bianca Andreescu in the Miami Open final
Ashleigh Barty from Australia holds the championship trophy

Because of the Corona virus breakout in the world she skipped the 2020 season because of travelling issues but she still managed to hold on to her World No.1 ranking. On the other hand Osaka, won back-to-back Grand Slams at the 2020 US Open and 2021 Australian Open, but still remained behind her in rankings.

Talking about the same, Ash said she has her own ways to deal with the challenges she faced this year regarding the question marks over her ranking.

“When we arrived in Miami in late March, I felt people were questioning whether I was the rightful No 1 given Naomi Osaka had won a couple of Grand Slams in succession. It was probably the first time I felt a little rattled and I really wanted to make a statement on the court.

Naomi Osaka 2021 US Open
Naomi Osaka is behind Barty in rankings.

“Getting through that tournament – and playing so well at the end of it to defend my crown from 2019 – felt like a pivotal moment, particularly after overcoming a match point in my first-round match against qualifier Kristina Kucova.”

Preparations ahead of Australian Open

Ash, who recently got engaged to her boyfriend says that she is all set for next year’s Australian Open. She wants to become the first tennis player from the country to lift the title after 1978. Christine O’Neil was the last woman from the country to win at the Melbourne Park.

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Last year, Barty came close to reaching the finals but was eventually knocked out in the semis.

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