Naomi Osaka’s ‘World No. 1’ Ranking is a source of contention for Ashleigh Barty.

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Naomi Osaka’s ‘World No. 1’ Ranking is a source of contention for Ashleigh Barty.

Despite the negative press surrounding her return as the world’s No. 1, Ashleigh Barty remained unmoved.

Naomi Osaka, a Japanese sensation, has had an incredible run, winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the 2020 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open.

However, due to her steady string of performances, she ended up trailing Barty in the world rankings.

Barty retained her No. 1 ranking under the new WTA protected ranking system. Many people believe she shouldn’t be in first place because Osaka’s performance was more deserving.

Barty admitted that, although believing that she had worked hard for it, the hype about Osaka being “the rightful No. 1” had an impact on her at one time.

“After such a hard and unique season, holding the No. 1 ranking again to close 2021 is something I am immensely happy of,” the 25-year-old told Code Sports. “To have spent so much time on the road, to have asked the people I love and admire to support me and make sacrifices, and to have come out on top is a remarkable achievement.” “When I think back on the season, there were four phases that were crucial to keeping the top spot,” she concluded. “I felt like people were doubting if I was the deserved No. 1 after Naomi Osaka won two Grand Slams in a row.” It was perhaps the first time I felt jittery, and I was eager to make a statement on the court.” Barty went on to say that previous to Osaka’s streak, she had a “realization” that whatever was ahead was hers to take.

“Getting through that tournament – and playing so brilliantly at the end to defend my title from 2019 – seemed like a pivotal moment,” the Australian reflected, especially after overcoming a match point in her first-round encounter against qualifier Kristina Kucova.

“That’s when I realized I really wanted to be No. 1,” she continued. “It wasn’t about the praise. It was the culmination of my determination, the smoldering competitive fire. ‘You know what?’ I thought. Someone will have to be exceptionally good to get this off of me.” The Osaka analogies appear to have passed Barty by. In fact, she is anticipating another successful season in 2022.

Should everything go as planned. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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