Ashleigh Barty storms to the top of yearly rankings with victory in Stuttgart
Ashleigh Barty surged to the top of the WTA yearly standings with her third title of the year at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
Barty came from a set down for the third straight match to beat fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-0 6-3, extending her winning run over top-10 rivals to 10 successive matches.
Barty did not play a competitive match for almost a year, choosing to stay at home in Australia when the tour resumed last summer, but retained her world number one status due to temporary changes in the ranking system.
When Naomi Osaka followed up her US Open title by winning the Australian Open, it seemed clear the Japanese player was the de facto number one, but Barty has set about showing she deserves her position.
The 25-year-old also won the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne and the Miami Open, and the Stuttgart crown – which comes with a Porsche – brought her a second title on clay after 2019’s French Open triumph.
At the TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul, Romania’s Sorana Cirstea defeated top seed Elise Mertens 6-1 7-6 (3) to win her second career title – 13 years after his first.
Cirstea, ranked 67, also triumphed in Tashkent in 2008 as an 18-year-old.
She said on wtatennis.com: “I’m very, very happy for this trophy. I did not expect it, to be honest, so probably I’m twice as glad.”
Meanwhile, world number six Bianca Andreescu has been forced to pull out of the Mutua Madrid Open after testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival in the Spanish capital.
The Canadian wrote on Twitter: “I am feeling good, I’m resting and I’m continuing to follow the health protocols and safety guidelines. I look forward to getting back out on the court very soon.”
Andy Murray gives positive assessment of week in Rome, saying ‘I’m happy I came over here’
Murray has been practising with top players.
Rafael Nadal saves two match points as he battles back from the brink against Denis Shapovalov
The Spaniard was far from his best against Shapovalov.
Coco Gauff savours Aryna Sabalenka victory, insists ‘I have no pressure’ ahead of Ashleigh Barty clash
“It will be great to see where my level is,” says Gauff.
‘It wasn’t fun. It was kind of brutal for me,’ admits Iga Swiatek after tough win over Barbora Krejcikova
Iga Swiatek saved two match points in Rome.
Major coup for Emilia-Romagna Open as Serena Williams changes plans and adds event to her schedule
Serena Williams off to Parma next week.
‘It was nice to see them back,’ says Novak Djokovic as fans return to watch him win at Italian Open
Another win for Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open.
Matteo Berrettini’s improvement paying off as Italian recaptures good form in 2021
Oli Jefford explains why Matteo Berrittini has the potential become one of the biggest names in tennis.
‘It’s just a matter of time’ before she will be ‘raring to go’ on clay, says Serena Williams
“It is what it is,” says Serena Williams.
Rafael Nadal gives his verdict on ‘complete player’ Jannik Sinner after Italian Open victory
“He’s still improving all the time,” says Nadal about Sinner.
‘It’s a special win,’ says Nadia Podoroska after upsetting Serena Williams at Italian Open
Williams was playing the 1,000 match of her career.