New world No.1 Barty pulls out of Eastbourne

Ashleigh Barty

The Japanese player lost her grip on the top spot when Australian Ashleigh Barty defeated Germany's Julia Goerges 6-3 7-5 in the Birmingham Classic final to ensure her rise to No. 1 when the rankings are released on Monday.

The 22-year-old from Perth held her nerve to win the Women's PGA Championship by one shot in Minneapolis.

John Newcombe, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt are the three Australian men to have topped the tennis world since rankings were introduced in 1973. Seven-times grand slam champion Goolagong Cawley reached No 1 for a fortnight in 1976.

"I've had it since I was 16", the 23-year-old Queenslander said.

The French Open champion, having the season of her life with three titles and 35 wins from 41 matches, said on Monday afternoon she was taking no chances with the flare-up of a chronic shoulder problem and expected to be fully fit for Wimbledon next week.

Barty sent down 11 aces and fired 24 winners on Saturday to dispatch world number 51 Barbora Strycova from the Czech Republic 6-4 6-4.

"She is a truly impressive person and deserves every success that comes her way". I pulled out of the doubles [semi-final in Birmingham] to try to give it the best chance to be ready for singles.

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"With incredible versatility, perseverance, and focus, Ash Barty is an inspiration to the next generation of young players in Australia".

"[The teachers] all remember Ashleigh as a humble, down to earth student ... didn't want to be known as anything different, didn't want to be sort of "out there" even when she won junior Wimbledon". Instead of going the obvious choice of the tennis courts, Balsamo said the school has settled on its hall because funnily enough, Barty didn't actually play tennis at Woodcrest.

"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", said Barty.

It's been a massive 12 hours for Australian women's sport. "She was just a naturally talented student." .

Barty closed out the set without any further trouble.

Barty did not drop a set all week and took the first set comfortably, but had to recover from 3-0 down in the second and saved a set point with an ace in the 10th game before breaking Goerges in the next and serving out to love.

However Barty dug deep and found crucial breaks to fight back and level things at 3-3.

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