The WTA announced Ash Barty as the year-end World No.1 after the Aussie held on to her ranking, which she has enjoyed for all of 2020, but the tennis world raged over the outcome.
In a year full of twists and turns due to the coronavirus pandemic, Barty only took part in a couple of lead up tournaments before falling in the Semi-Final of the 2020 Australian Open.
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Her last match was at the Qatar Open in February.
Not long after, the WTA made the difficult decision to call a stop to the tennis schedule due to the global pandemic wreaking havoc.
This also prompted a re-shape of the official rankings system.
Rankings points were frozen and the WTA looked at the best 16 results of players since March 2019 in order to preserve players’ points who couldn’t make tournaments.
With the Australian borders closed and unable to train with her coach due to Queensland’s strict border policy, Barty opted not to defend her French Open title and skipped the US Open.
Despite not taking part in tournaments since the tennis schedule restarted, Barty was announced as the year-end World No.1 this week.
This is mainly due to her consistent performances and holding on to points from her 2019 French Open crown and the 2019 WTA Finals title.
But rival Alize Cornet took a swipe at the WTA’s ‘frozen rankings’ system after Barty was announced as the World No.1.
“Really @WTA?!? Big fan of Ash but come on,” she wrote.
The tennis world was also equally perplexed at the announcement.
That is pretty ridiculous. I like Barty a lot but she has only scored 1600 points all year... only the 12th most of any player this year. The fact that Kenin isn’t number 1 is kinda outrageous.
— Nick Ed (@NickEd82) November 16, 2020
— The Tennis Menu (@thetennismenu) November 17, 2020
How?! Zero points for US or French?! Or am I missing something?!
— Peter V (@VaughanLJ) November 16, 2020
what a joke
— Tyler J (@faketylerj) November 16, 2020
Even Ash Barty from the look of this photo doesn't even believe she is....... https://t.co/PblI0owGJR
— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) November 16, 2020
But many fans, including tennis writer Tumaini Carayol, pointed out the outrage was misplaced as the WTA had already announced she would hold onto her points after an unprecedented year of interruptions.
“I don't get the outrage here. We're in the middle of a pandemic and the ranking system was rightfully changed to accommodate that,” Carayol wrote.
“Barty ending the year as #1 isn't representative of this year's results but there isn't much else to be done. It's not that important.”
I don't get the outrage here. We're in the middle of a pandemic and the ranking system was rightfully changed to accommodate that. Barty ending the year as #1 isn't representative of this year's results but there isn't much else to be done. It's not that important. https://t.co/qbRrQKpyUQ
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) November 16, 2020
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