Insane feat of perfection that helped Ash Barty secure World No.1

Ash Barty has plenty of reasons to cheer after her success at the Birmingham Open - and a stunning slice of history perfectly illustrates her dominant run to the top.

For just the third time in the history of the tournament, Barty won all of her games in straight sets.

Barty’s 6-3, 7-5 victory over Julia Goerges in Sunday’s finals lifted her to the top of the womens’ rankings, the first time an Australian player has held the position since 1976.

After Naomi Osaka suffered a shock loss in the second round, Barty needed to win the title to overtake the Japanese star for the No.1 spot.

She is also just the fifth Australian to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1973, joining Goolagong Cawley, John Newcombe, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt.

Her win over Goerges was her 12th in a row, extending the remarkable run that saw her claim a maiden grand slam title at the French Open.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia takes a selfie with the Maud Watson Trophy after victory in her final match of the Nature Valley Classic. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA)

She is also just the fifth Australian to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1973, joining Goolagong Cawley, John Newcombe, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt.

Her win over Goerges was her 12th in a row, extending the remarkable run that saw her claim a maiden grand slam title at the French Open.

Barty’s sportsmanship on show

Rather than bask in the glory of becoming Australia’s first female World No.1 since 1976, Ash Barty’s immediate thoughts were with her vanquished opponent.

Barty cast friendship aside to down her German doubles partner, but once the match was over Barty was humble and kind to her opponent, paying a beautiful tribute to the runner-up in her victory speech.

“I couldn’t think of a better person to share the court with,” she told Goerges, who was in tears in her own speech.

“You’re one of my best friends on tour and you’ve been there for me since I was a little ‘tacker’.

“She’s the most incredible human being with the most amazing team.”

The pair also shared a beautiful embrace at the net after the final point.

Barty and Goerges actually made it to the semis in the doubles event in Birmingham, but withdrew once they both made the singles final.