"I truly wanted to be number one" says Barty about being questioned as No. 1

Ashleigh Barty's number one ranking has been thoroughly questioned in the past year and especially after the season halted during the pandemic.

The reason was rather simple, Naomi Osaka was playing sensational tennis for a while and with the Japanese player winning the US Open and Australian Open in succession many believed her to be the rightful number one in the world of WTA tennis. Barty experienced those feelings as well especially upon arrival to Miami.

Recalling that she said:

“When we arrived in Miami in late March, I felt people were questioning whether I was the rightful No 1 given Naomi Osaka had won a couple of Grand Slams in succession. It was probably the first time I felt a little rattled and I really wanted to make a statement on the court."

She continued:

“Getting through that tournament – and playing so well at the end of it to defend my crown from 2019 – felt like a pivotal moment, particularly after overcoming a match point in my first-round match against qualifier Kristina Kucova.”

She explained that that experience lit a fire in herself to truly want to be number one and prove it to everyone:

“It was then that I truly wanted to be the No. 1. It was the realization of my determination, the competitive drive that was burning. I thought, ‘You know what? Someone is going to have to be really, really good to take this off me.'”

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WTA Ashleigh Barty WTA Ranking

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