Birmingham: French Open champion Ashleigh Barty is one win away from becoming the first Australian to be crowned women’s world number one in 43 years after reaching the final of the WTA event in Birmingham on Saturday.
Barty beat Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-4 in the Birmingham semi-finals to advance to her third final of the season and extend her winning streak to 11 consecutive matches.
The 23-year-old hit 11 aces and 24 winners and did not drop her serve once in one hour and 24 minutes on court against Strycova.
Standing in the way of Barty overtaking Japan’s Naomi Osaka at the top of the WTA rankings is a familiar foe in the shape of her doubles partner Julia Goerges, who beat Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3 in the other semi-final.
Barty would be the first female Australian world number one since Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
John David Newcombe, Patrick Michael Rafter and Lleyton Glynn Hewitt are the three Australian men to have topped the tennis world since rankings were introduced in 1973....