Meet our modest, composed new world champion
Australia has a tennis player ranked No. 1 in the world. She has not been fined multiple times for bad on-court behaviour, she is modest, composed and down to earth and has no intention of changing – even though politicians, celebrities, the media and much of Australia are clamouring for her attention. Meet 23-year-old Queensland woman Ashleigh Barty.
Barty claims top spot today after her straight sets win in the final of the Birmingham Classic – becoming the first Australian No.1 since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003 and the first female Australian No.1 since Evonne Goolagong Crawley in 1976.
Barty, a former Wimbledon junior champion, lost her love for the game at the end of 2014 and played Big Bash cricket for Brisbane Heat before returning to tennis in 2016.
She was typically humble accepting the Birmingham Classic trophy early on Monday morning (AEST time), saying: “I'm a little bit speechless. It's been a whirlwind few weeks to be honest and to be able to follow in the footsteps of Evonne and even mentioned in the same sentence is incredible.
“It's been the most incredible journey for me and my team. You always dream about [being No.1] as a little kid, but for it to become a reality, it's incredible, and not something that was even in my realm. We were aiming for top 10 this year.”
Her coach, Craig Tyzzer, said: “She is a truly impressive person and deserves every success that comes her way. I couldn't be prouder to be her coach.”
Barty now heads to Eastbourne for her last Wimbledon lead-up event on the back of a 12-match winning streak. She is likely to be announced as the No.1 seed for Wimbledon, which starts on 1 July.