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AFP
June 24, 2019

Barty on top of the world with Birmingham WTA title

Sports

AFP
June 24, 2019

BIRMINGHAM: Ashleigh Barty said it was in “another realm” to become only the second Australian woman to top the world rankings when she won the Birmingham WTA title on Sunday, beating Julia Goerges 6-3, 7-5.

Barty emulates Yvonne Goolagong Cawley who held it for a fortnight in 1976. She displaces Japan’s Naomi Osaka as women’s world number one.Barty saved two break points early in the first set but she made no mistake when she was offered the opportunity — Goerges putting a backhand wide to give the Australian a 4-2 lead.

Barty closed out the set without further ado — the pick of her shots a delightful lob into the far corner which Goerges tried valiantly to get back but it dropped short of the net to give her a 5-2 lead.

Goerges, though, struck back in the second set, breaking Barty in her first service game and the German held her own to move into a 3-0 lead. Barty broke back, however, when Goerges sent a forehand out to get back to 3-2.

Goerges, leading 4-3, took Barty’s next service game to deuce with a superb volley, but the Australian extricated herself from trouble and levelled at 4-4. Barty had a break point in the next game but Goerges found the wherewithal to fight back and win the game to go 5-4 up.

Goerges had a set point in the next game but Barty saved it with an ace and then held serve to make it 5-5. Barty, by contrast, did take her chance when it came in the following game, breaking Goerges and then wrapped up the title.

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