Australia’s Ashleigh Barty will finish the 2021 season as world No. 1, despite not defending her title at the final WTA tournament.
Barty will become No. 1 at the end of the season for the third year in a row. Before her, only three tennis players – Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert – had managed to do that.
In addition, Barty will definitely break the 100-week mark at the top of the rankings. Only seven women have done it before her: Justine Henin, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Evert, Serena, Navratilova and Graf.
Earlier, Ash Barty declined to participate in the Billie Jean King Cup. Ayla Tomljanovic, Astra Sharma, Storm Sanders, Ellen Perez and Olivia Gadecki will be playing for Team Australia. Australia’s group stage opponents will be the national teams of Belarus and Belgium (Group B). Russia, France and Canada will play in Group A, the USA, Spain and Slovakia in Group C and the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland in Group D. The tournament will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) from November 1 to 6.
Alicia Molik, captain of the Australian women’s team at the Billie Jean King Cup, commented on the decision of world number one Ashley Barty and Samantha Stosur to withdraw from the tournament.
“We know how much Ash and Sam love representing Australia, but after a long year on tour with restrictions and quarantine still in effect, they understandably decided not to compete. They both wish the best for the team and will support from afar,” Molik was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.