Ashleigh Barty Matches Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, and Others in an Incredible Record

Published 10/24/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her fourth round match against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


It’s now official that Ashleigh Barty has secured the World No.1 spot for the whole 2021 season. This will be the third consecutive year for Barty with a year-end WTA World No.1 ranking. However, recently the Australian confirmed her withdrawal from the remaining tour including the WTA finals in Mexico.

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Following her magnificent ranking in 2021, Ashleigh Barty has now matched Serena Williams’ long-time record of finishing World No.1 for three straight years. But some tennis fans claim that Williams fought hard for the title, unlike Barty. The Australian held the number one spot in 2020 because of the frozen ranking system.

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Ashleigh Barty matches Serena Williams’ record

The Australian, Ashleigh Barty achieved many milestones in the 2021 season. She lifted the title at Cincinnati, Stuttgart, Miami, and Melbourne. Along with these titles, she also triumphed at Wimbledon championships in London, the second major Slam of her career. Subsequently, as mentioned earlier, she has also retained her World No.1 rankings in 2021.

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 31: Serena Williams of The United States is congratulated on victory by Ashleigh Barty of Ausralia following their ladies singles second round match during day five of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on May 31, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by XIN LI/Getty Images)

Following this, Ashleigh Barty has now been at the number one spot for the third consecutive year. She first reached this accomplishment in June 2019. Since then, the Australian has been successful in retaining her favorite position. Surprisingly, she has now matched the record of Serena Williams of holding the World No.1 ranking for the third straight year.

However, many tennis geeks have shared their disappointment over this. According to them, Serena Williams worked extremely hard for this milestone. While, on the other hand, Barty stayed at the number one position mainly because of the frozen ranking system in the pandemic year 2020. This debate has lingered on for a meaningful period of time amongst hardcore fans.

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Other players who have achieved this landmark

Apart from Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty, there are three other players who have successfully finished World No.1 for three straight seasons. Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert have also handsomely accomplished this milestone.

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However, despite having an extravagant year, Ashleigh Barty announced her withdrawal from the remainder of the season including the WTA finals in Mexico. She has decided to stay at her home in Australia as she has been away from her country for a long time. Hopefully, she’ll return to the tennis court at the Australian Open 2022.

DIVE DEEPER

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Atri Bhatt

346 articles

Atri Bhatt is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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