Ash Barty has not played the most tennis of the top players over the last year, due to the global pandemic and travel in and out of Australia not possible we didn’t see any of the Australian for the remainder of the 2020 season before returning to tennis this year.
The ranking freeze in 2020 meant that players could only pick up points, it wouldn’t have been fair for players who couldn’t travel to be penalised and lose points but many have taken to Ash being at the top as undeserved when it is anything but that!
For reference, 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…
Whilst people have raised doubts, Ash Barty has continued to raise trophies aloft and has now won her third WTA title of the year.
Ash kicked off her year winning the Yarra Valley Classic down in Melbourne, Ash then went onto defend her title in Miami and having slipped up in Charleston there was no stopping Ash this week in Stuttgart.
There were some testing moments for the world number one, Ash was 3-5 down in the deciding set against Pliskova but won, 4-6 4-5 down vs Svitolina and won and was 3-6 down vs Sabalenka and won to win the title.
There is just a fantastic mood around watching Ash Barty play, the way she mixes up her game, she has multiple weapons on forehand and backhand sides and I can’t see how she isn’t a deserved world number one, the numbers behind her success are insane:
When she plays, there is a strong chance of winning and she has to beat the best in the business to do it, since the beginning of 2019 these are the top 10 wins from those at the top of the game:
Top 10 wins since 2019:
Muguruza – 9
Andreescu – 8
Osaka – 7
Halep – 7
Kenin – 6
Svitolina – 6
Azarenka – 6
Pliskova – 6
Sabalenka – 5
Serena – 5
Kvitova – 4
Ash Barty – 19
As 8 of the top 15 tumbled throughout the week in Stuttgart one player remained consistent and in form and that is Ash Barty and in just over a months time will head back to Paris for the first time and based on this season and this last week she will be a firm favourite.