“I deserve to be number one in the world,” said the Australian. Ashleigh barty after retaining his tournament title Miami WTA 1000 Saturday. It is his response to the colleagues who criticized his leadership in the ranking despite not playing from March 2020 to January 2021 due to the coronavirus, not leaving his country due to the pandemic.
“I have nothing to prove to anyone. I know all the work done. There has been a lot of talk about my ranking, but I didn’t play anything last year and I didn’t have the opportunity to improve my number of points. Yes, I didn’t fall from first place, but I couldn’t progress on points either. There were girls who had the opportunity to improve theirs, so I fully deserve my first place, “he said after beating the Canadian in the final. Bianca Andreescu.
Regardless of the outcome of her final against the Canadian, who had to retire after injuring her right ankle while trailing 6-3, 4-0, 24-year-old Barty was guaranteed to stay ahead of the WTA rankings. His position was a fact when the Japanese Naomi osaka, champion of the Australian Open, was eliminated in Miami by the Greek Maria Sakkari.
After the great upheavals caused last year by the pandemic Covid-19 on the circuit calendar, the Australian, at the top of the world ranking since September 2019, the year in which it was crowned in Roland Garros, benefited from a modification of the ranking calculation method adopted accordingly.
”The year I had in 2019 was incredible. I don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anyone. Everyone has the right to have their own opinion. This is normal. I cannot control what others think or say. I think I deserve to be at the top ”, he insisted.
Barty, who chose to stay in Australia last year after the WTA season resumed following the forced hiatus by the pandemic, will begin the clay-court season next week in Charleston, South Carolina.
After which he will leave for Europe, where he plans to compete in Madrid, Stuttgart and Rome, before trying to regain his Roland Garros title, now in the hands of the Polish Iga Swiatek.