Barty seals number-one spot with Birmingham glory
Ashleigh Barty completed her rise to world number one with a straight-sets victory over Julia Goerges in the final of the Birmingham Classic on Sunday.
Following her French Open triumph earlier this month, Australia's Barty will head to Wimbledon buoyed by a 6-3 7-5 win against her doubles partner Goerges.
The duo reached the semi-finals at this competition before withdrawing and their knowledge of each other's games was clear in a tight opening.
But Barty – who replaced Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings – powered clear to take the first set and, despite being broken early in the second, she battled through for victory.
Barty was forced to save two break points in the opening game, with Goerges' blistering forehand return working well early on.
The German also held her first service game to love, only to send a backhand wide in the sixth to hand Barty the maiden break.
It proved enough for the Roland Garros champion to close out the first set, but Goerges hit back defiantly at the start of set two, saving a break point before stringing together four consecutive points to take the Barty serve from 30-0 down.
The world number 19 consolidated that breakthrough to lead 3-0, the winners flowing from her racket, although Barty managed to prevail in a baseline duel and hit back in the fifth game.
A fired-up Goerges regrouped with a pair of gutsy holds, making Barty serve to stay in the set – something she managed after saving a set point with an ace.
The decisive moment came in the next game when Goerges floated a backhand wide and Barty held emphatically to love to seal the win in a manner befitting her new, lofty status.