No 1 ranking in sight for Ashleigh Barty after Naomi Osaka crashes out in Birmingham

WTA Tour
Naomi Osaka

The world No 1 ranking is up for grabs for Ashleigh Barty at the Nature Valley Classic after Naomi Osaka was dumped out in the second round.

French Open champion Barty continued her excellent form as she made it nine WTA Tour-level wins in a row with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over American Jennifer Brady.

It was an imperious performance from the world No 2 as she faced only one break point and landed 71% of her first serves.

She will face former world No 1 Venus Williams in the quarter-final after the American wildcard secured a 6-3, 6-2 win over sixth seed Qiang Wang.

Should Barty end up winning the Birmingham event then she will replace Osaka at the top of the world rankings.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Osaka crashed out as she suffered a 6-2, 6-3 defeat in one hour and nine minutes at the hands of Yulia Putintseva.

It was another disjointed display from Osaka as world No 46 Putintseva raced into a 5-0 lead before the Japanese player finally got on the scoreboard, but there was no real comeback.

The Kazakh player will take on Julia Goerges for a place in the semi-final after the German beat Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-3.

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