Barty edges closer to world number one ranking after reaching Birmingham final

Barty edges closer to world number one ranking after reaching Birmingham final

Ashleigh Barty is one match away from becoming the first Australian to be crowned women’s world number one in 43 years after progressing to the final of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

The 23-year-old French Open champion beat Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-4 to advance to her third final of the season and extend her winning streak to 11 consecutive matches.

She smashed 11 aces and 24 winners and was never broken over the course of the hour and 24 minutes it took to beat Strycova.

Standing in her way of overtaking Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings is her doubles partner Julia Goerges after the eighth seed beat Petra Martic 6-4 6-3.

Despite all the talk about her accession to world number one, Barty is concentrating on the job in hand.

“I keep it very simple. I don’t focus on them at all. They are things I can’t control necessarily,” she told her post-match press conference.

“I have to try and do what I can do and that is prepare and do as best that I can tomorrow and try and play a good tennis match and if I win, it’s a bonus.

“They are all things that come with it. But those things are certainly not what I’m worried about.

“It is not going to change the way that I sleep at night, if I don’t get there or not. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

- Press Association

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