Ash Barty's brutal statement amid nasty Naomi Osaka controversy

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·Sports Editor
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Ash Barty, pictured here speaking to the media after winning Wimbledon.
Ash Barty has delivered the perfect smackdown to those who say Naomi Osaka is the more deserving World No.1. Image: Getty

Ash Barty has delivered the perfect smackdown to those who say she's a fake World No.1, proving her credentials by winning Wimbledon on Saturday.

Barty became the first women's top seed to win Wimbledon since Serena Williams in 2016, beating Karolina Pliskova in the final.

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In doing so, the Australian star provided the perfect example of why she deserves her World No.1 ranking.

When the WTA froze the world rankings and Barty opted to stay home in Australia for the majority of 2020, she managed to hold onto the top spot despite not setting foot on a court for months.

Barty's top ranking came off the back of winning the French Open and year-end WTA titles in 2019, holding onto the massive haul of points she'd earned in the process.

The naysayers believed Naomi Osaka was the more deserving World No.1, having won the Australian Open and US Open titles twice each.

Barty only had the one grand slam title to her name, with many pointing to the Aussie's inability to perform on the big stages of the US and Australian Opens as proof that she was a pretender.

The controversy reared its ugly head at the Australian Open in January when Barty lost in the quarter-finals and Osaka went on to win the title.

Ash Barty, pictured here with the Venus Rosewater Dish after winning Wimbledon.
Ash Barty celebrates with the Venus Rosewater Dish after winning Wimbledon. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Yet Osaka didn't even make a dent in Barty's massive rankings lead because of the revised system the WTA implemented at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New York Times tennis writer Christopher Clarey wrote at the time that the system is "deeply out of sync with reality".

"I understand the reasons & the pandemic-adjusted WTA rankings have worked well enough until now in my view," he tweeted on Sunday.

"But they now seem deeply out of sync with reality with Barty still No.1 by a healthy margin holding no Slam titles (or finals) & playing so little."

Ash Barty shows she's the true World No.1

But by winning Wimbledon on Saturday to become the first Australian woman to do so since 1980, Barty effectively silenced the critics and showed she is the true No.1.

En route the title she beat French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who declared Barty as the deserving World No.1.

"Ash is amazing. She knows how to play. She's No. 1. She's there for a reason. She belongs there," Krejcikova said.

"But the match was actually really close and I had my chances. I just didn't convert them. Against a player as Ash is, you actually have to convert everything.

"I just felt it was a really good match. I'm actually happy that I did what I wanted to do and that I was playing my really good tennis.

"Also, Ash is really good person - so at the end, it hurts but it doesn't hurt that much, because she was just better today."

with AAP

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