Barty secures year-end World No.1 ranking amidst controversy

Despite ending her 2021 season on Saturday, Ashleigh Barty has officially secured the year-end World No.1 ranking for the third straight year.

The Australian has had an incredible season, winning five titles which includes her second Major after her triumph at Wimbledon. Her performance was enough to see her accumulate enough points to secure the No.1 position for the third consecutive year, equaling the record held by WTA legends such as Serena Williams and Steffi Graf.

However, there is some controversy surrounding the 25-year old's impressive feat as some fans believe she shouldn't be recognized as having finished the year as World No.1 for three consecutive years. Barty didn't play for the majority of 2020 due to concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic, but held onto the No.1 spot because the rankings were frozen. This allowed the Australian to stay home and hold onto the No.1 ranking despite not playing for months.

Nonetheless, Barty chose to end her season early last week, declining to participate in the year-ending WTA Finals event. The Queensland native returned home to Australia last month, and opted to skip the Finals in Guadalajara as she did not want to spend another two-weeks in quarantine upon return. The Wimbledon champion will now turn her attention to the 2022 Australian Open, where she hopes to lift the title in front of her home crowd.

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