Ashleigh Barty Stands Two Wins From No. 1 Ranking
(June 21, 2019) French Open champion Ashleigh Barty stands two wins away from reaching the No. 1 ranking.
The 23-year-old Australian reached the final four of Birmingham with a 6-4, 6-3 win over seven-time major champion Venus Williams in 85 minutes.
Current No.1 Naomi Osaka lost in Birmingham to Yulia Putintseva in the second round on Thursday. Eighth seed Julia Goerges beat Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
Barty is on a 10-match win streak going back to Roland Garros. Barty will play Barbora Strycova for a chance at the final. Should Barty win the title, she’ll be the first Australian woman to become No. 1 since Evonne Goolagong in 1976.
“I feel like every match is getting better and better on the grass and it’s always a privilege to play someone like Venus; she’s done incredible things for our sport and she’s inspired generations to pick up a tennis racket,” said Barty. “It was important to keep my foot on the peddle because Venus can take games away from you pretty quickly.”
Strycova defeated Czech countrywoman Kristyna Pliskova in Friday’s quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-4.
Barty and Strycova are among the female players discussing playing mixed doubles with Andy Murray at Wimbledon, which starts on 1 July. Barty confirmed that she had turned Murray down in order to focus on singles and doubles at SW19 but that it had been a very difficult decision. “I was flattered and very honoured to be asked but three events is just too much for me. I’m sure he’ll find someone,” she said. “There will be a million people lining up for Andy. It was nice to see him play him yesterday. I think the whole world was watching and I don’t think there was a single person in the tennis world or on the planet that wasn’t happy to see him back out there again.”
Strycova, meanwhile, said she would jump at the chance of partnering Murray. “Actually, I would love to play with him. We played some juniors together, so it would be really fun. I would go. I’m ready. He didn’t reply yet. So I don’t know. If he asks, I’m for it. That’s an official announcement!”
Petra Martic won 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-1 win over Jelena Ostapenko, saving five match points.
“I still can’t believe that I won this match,” said Martic. “I was saving match points from one to another, so it’s really incredible that I managed to pull this match through.”
NATURE VALLEY CLASSIC – BIRMINGHAM – BIRMINGHAM, GBR
JUNE 17 – 23, 2019
RESULTS – JUNE 21, 2019
Singles – Quarterfinals
 A. Barty (AUS) d [WC] V. Williams (USA) 64 63
 J. Goerges (GER) d Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 63 62
P. Martic (CRO) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 67(4) 75 61
B. Strycova (CZE) d [Q] Kr. Pliskova (CZE) 62 64
Doubles – Quarterfinals
 A. Groenefeld (GER) / D. Schuurs (NED) d N. Kichenok (UKR) / A. Spears (USA) 64 64
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 2019
ANN JONES CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am
B. Strycova (CZE) vs  A. Barty (AUS)
 J. Goerges (GER) vs P. Martic (CRO)
J. Ostapenko (LAT) / G. Voskoboeva (KAZ) vs  S. Hsieh (TPE) / B. Strycova (CZE)
A. Barty (AUS) / J. Goerges (GER) vs  A. Groenefeld (GER) / D. Schuurs (NED)