Barty ready to reclaim world number one

Ashleigh Barty, French Open champion and former world number one, is set to reclaim the top spot despite being knocked out of the US Open in the fourth round.

The Ngaragu woman will soon be the first female Australian tennis player to sit on top of the end of year rankings.

Barty currently sits just below world number one, Japan’s Naomi Osaka – who was defeated in her fourth round of the US Open against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic.

World number three, Czech player Karolina Pliskova could oppose Barty for number one.

The pair will enter the Asian swing with 376 points between them, with 372 ranking points less to defend.

The US Open, which began August 26, saw Barty claim victory over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas, United States’ Lauren Davis, and Greece’s Maria Sakkari.

Barty was knocked out 6-2 6-4 in her fourth round to China’s Qiang Wang.

“It’s been incredible, it’s a tough day at the office today but it’s been a year where we have hit our goals,” Ms Barty said in a press conference.

“There’s no easy round full stop. It doesn’t matter if it’s a first round, a fourth … or a final.”

“Qiang has had an incredible few weeks. She has got the ability to play some really good tennis, I played her in some really tough matches in the past … and in the bigger moments of today she was better.”

Although wrapping up her time competing in Singles, Barty continues her competition in Doubles.

“I would have loved to keep going here in Singles but we have the opportunity to do that in Doubles. Knowing what it was like last year, being able to lift that trophy in Doubles – it was so cool,” Ms Barty said.

“I have another opportunity to do that and to play Doubles so still a bonus.”

In trademark Barty style, the tennis player remained humble about her whirlwind year and continues to look ahead.

“We will sit back and reflect and look forward to the big couple of months to the finish of this year.”

By Rachael Knowles

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