The 2019 Roland Garros and 2021 Wimbledon champion – Australia’s Ashleigh Barty – has become the eighth woman to reach 100 career weeks at No.1. The 25-year-old has already had a successful year, winning five WTA titles, including her second Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon. She adds another feather to her crown, as she begins her 100th career week at No. 1.
She is the eighth woman to hit the milestone since WTA rankings began in 1975. The highest record is held by Steffi Graf (377 weeks) followed by Martina Navratilova (332 weeks) and Serena Williams (319 weeks).
This achievement of Barty of 100 weeks at No. 1 in her career is split between two spells. She initially reached the top ranking on June 24, 2019, when she won a grass-court event in Birmingham, only weeks after winning her maiden Grand Slam championship on clay at Roland Garros. She would hold the top spot in the WTA rankings for seven weeks when Naomi Osaka, the woman she had supplanted, reclaimed it on August 12, 2019.
But four weeks later, on September 9, 2019, Barty reclaimed the top spot and hasn’t let go since—this week marks her 93rd straight week there, excluding the 20 weeks for which the WTA rankings were frozen in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Barty’s has been an all-rounder this season. She won five WTA titles on all three surfaces this year, all at the WTA 500 level or higher, including two WTA 500 wins in Melbourne (hard) and Stuttgart (clay), two WTA 1000 titles in Miami (hard) and Cincinnati (hard), and one Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon (grass). Since Evonne Goolagong in 1980, Barty became the first Australian woman to win the Venus Rosewater Dish at Wimbledon.
“It was the most incredible feeling I think I’ve ever experienced on a tennis court,” she said after her three-set victory over Karolina Pliskova in the final. “There was certainly disbelief. I think I’ve worked so hard my whole career with my team and with people that mean the most to me to try and achieve my goals and my dreams—and to be able to do that today was incredible.”
Ashleigh Barty to end the Season Early
The present World No.1 announced last weekend that she was ending her season and wouldn’t defend her WTA Finals title.
“I wanted to let everyone know I won’t be competing in any further tournaments in 2021, including the WTA Finals in Mexico,” she said in a statement. “It was a difficult decision, but I need to prioritize my body and my recovery from our 2021 season and focus on having the strongest pre-season for the Australian summer.
“With the ongoing challenges of travelling back to Queensland and quarantine requirements, I am not willing to compromise my preparation for January.”