It has felt for some time that Ash Barty has had to prove her worth as world number one, but why?
The ranking freeze obviously meant that Ash kept hold of her number ranking in a time where points could only be gained and not dropped.
Ash herself though did not return when tennis did in the Autumn due to travel restrictions in Australia and wanting to keep people safe opted against travelling back on tour and couldn’t even travel from state to state in Australia to train with her coach Craig Tyzzer.
I do hope what Barty has done this year has shut up some of the critics and I’m still struggling to see why she is being criticised.
Her tennis has been exceptional and despite missing almost a whole year has come back and continued to win matches and titles. We’ve seen Ash lift titles in Melbourne and now defend her title in Miami this year, what else does she have to do?
Next week will be here 70th week at world number one which is more than Halep, Kerber, Azarenka, Sharapova, Venus and Kim but one week off Wozniacki’s 71 weeks.
Being world number one just isn’t about how many Grand Slams you have won, it is consistency throughout the season and she has done it time and time again.
We will see Ash turn 25 at the end of April and her achievements have been wonderful throughout her career winning 10 singles titles and 10 doubles titles already. Not only has she done all this but she took over a year out of tennis after the 2014 US Open and went and played professional Cricket and to have come back and done what she has deserves heaps of credit.
I do think it is quite sad an unfair that its been played as Ash has had a point to prove, she didn’t gain any points during the break and couldn’t play, no one lost points so were in the same boat whether she was world number one or world number thirty two.
As Ash said following her Miami win:
“I never have to prove anything to anyone”
She is one of the nicest players on tour, she is humble and down to earth and speaks really well. What I love the most is that when she talks about her game, wins, losses and titles it is a collective “we”, Ash always pays credit to her team.
It is also worth noting that there were points for the others to pick up and become world number one. Simona Halep didn’t go to US Open or Cincinnati in August/September and Naomi Osaka did not play after her US Open win skipping the events in Rome and Roland Garros, points were there to be had…