Ashleigh Barty poised to take number one spot after moving into Birmingham final

WTA Tour
Ashleigh Barty fist pump

Australian Ashleigh Barty is just one win away from the world number one ranking after powering her way into the WTA final in Birmingham.

She beat Czech player Barbora Strycova in the semi-final at the Nature Valley Classic, extending her winning streak to 11 consecutive games.

Barty could take the number one slot from troubled Naomi Osaka, who has had an inconsistent 2019 that saw her crash out of the tournament in the second round.

Meanwhile, Ashleigh Barty has advanced into her fourth final of 2019, beating Strycova 6-4, 6-4, underlining her status as the in-form player heading into Wimbledon.

She will play her doubles semifinal with Julia Goerges later on Saturday and could face the German in the singles final, if she gets past Petra Martic in the second semifinal.

In her post-match interview Barty was in a positive mood.

“It’s really nice to have another opportunity to come out here and play – you have to come out and grab it with both hands,” she said.

“We’re obviously having a really good time at the moment and hopefully we can go one more tomorrow.”

After the on-court interviewer reminded Barty the number one ranking was up for grabs and also suggested that she could become the first player to win both singles and doubles in the same year since Maria Sharapova in 2004, she replied: “Oh why not? Just keep going.

“We got close here in 2017 – we had some really good memories of singles and doubles (that year) and it’s just nice to be in another final.

“It’s been a hell of a year so far, and hopefully we can prepare and play well tomorrow, and whatever happens, happens.”

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