Ash Barty joins tennis legends with record streak as World No.1

Ash Barty (pictured) smiles during the exhibition tournament in Adelaide.
Ash Barty (pictured) is now the 10th longest World No.1 in WTA history. (Getty Images)

Ash Barty has joined some rarified company atop the women's game after becoming the 10th longest serving World No.1 in WTA history.

Barty reached the World No.1 ranking, not long after her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open, on the 24th June, 2019, and has maintained her run at the top of the women's game since.

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The Australian was helped due to the player rankings being frozen and a 'best-of' system introduced after the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the sports world last year.

But her 66th week as World No.1 puts her in special company, including with current star Serena Williams and legends such as Stefani Graff and Martina Navratilova.

She sits behind, Graf (377 weeks), Navratilova (332), Williams (319), Chris Evert (260), Martina Hingis (209), Monica Seles (178), Justine Henin (170), Lindsay Davenport (98).

Next-in-sight is recently retired Caroline Wozniacki (71).

These are the only women to have held the No.1 spot longer since rankings were introduced in 1976.

Barty's record since reaching World No.1

Since Barty made her grand slam breakthrough at the 2019 French Open, the 24-year-old boasts better numbers than Naomi Osaka in almost every department bar the majors.

Barty has chalked up more wins overall than Osaka, claimed almost double the amount of top-10 and top-20 scalps, won more titles, made more finals, semi-finals and quarter-finals and banked more prize money.

The Aussie has also collected trophies on clay, grass and hard surfaces, while all seven of Osaka's career titles have been won on hard courts.

Frozen rankings system

During the coronavirus pandemic, a player would keep their points from past tournaments going back as far as March 2019 if they were unable or unwilling to compete due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This benefited players such as World No.1 Ash Barty.

Barty opted not to take part in the French Open and US Open because of concerns over travelling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ash Barty looks on during a practice session ahead of the 2020 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 02, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia.
Ash Barty looks on during a practice session ahead of the 2020 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 02, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) (Chris Hyde via Getty Images)

But because of her strong results over the past year, which included a French Open crown, she was able to hold onto her points and the World No.1 ranking.

However, last week the ATP announced that the ranking freeze will now be extended till the Toronto Masters, on August 9, and players can keep their points as far back as 2019 weighted at 50 per cent.

The system does not include Grand Slams. This is predicted to hurt Barty - due to the 50 per cent weighting - if she doesn't compete in tournaments overseas.

with AAP

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