Ashleigh Barty Surpasses Simona Halep in an Incredible Record

Published 03/02/2021, 6:30 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty reacts during her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Karolína Muchova REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Australian ace Ashleigh Barty has started slowly in the 2021 season. After winning the WTA 500 Melbourne, she saw an upset in the Australian Open quarterfinals. Soon after, she even lost the opening match of her title-defense campaign at Adelaide International.

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However, in the meantime, the 24-year-old has crossed an incredible milestone in her career. She has surpassed Romanian Simona Halep in the total number of weeks spent at the top of the WTA Rankings.

At present, the Queenslander is in her 65 week as the World No. 1 player on the women’s tour. She is now second only to Serena Williams’ 319 weeks record among the active players.

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Before her, the current World No. 3, Halep, had been guarding the second spot with 64 weeks for a long time. Now, it is likely that Barty will safely continue her reign for many more weeks to come.

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When did Ashleigh Barty become World No. 1?

Ashleigh Barty made her breakthrough in the Top 10 rankings in the 2019 season, and it was her best tennis season to date.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates victory after the Women’s Singles final match against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Day eight of the 2019 WTA Finals at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center on November 3, 2019, in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Firstly, the Australian ace made her debut in a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the 2019 Australian Open. Following that, she reached the fourth round of Indian Wells and won the Miami Open title.

This successful run helped her breach the Top 10 rankings. After that, she won the biggest tournament of her career, the 2019 French Open, and became World No. 2.

She continued her run of luck at the Birmingham Classic to reach the pinnacle in rankings. Barty lost her rank to Japan’s Naomi Osaka for a brief moment but stole it back at the US Open.

During the season’s end, the Australian ace won the WTA Finals and completed her first season as World No. 1. Since then, no player has challenged her position.

The World No. 1 list includes (64) Halep, (51) Azarenka, (34) Kerber, (25) Osaka, (20) Clijsters, (11) Venus Williams, (8) Pliskova, and (4) Muguruza.

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Which tournament will Barty play next?

During her Adelaide upset against unseeded Danielle Collins, Barty picked up a leg injury. Consequently, she has withdrawn from the Qatar Open and the Dubai Duty-Free Championships.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty during her quarterfinal match against Czech Republic’s Karolína Muchova REUTERS/Kelly Defina

But Barty is determined to return to Miami Open 2021 and defend her title. However, a 1000 point loss in Dubai will unquestionably hurt Barty.

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In the rankings race, the recently crowned Australian Open champion, Osaka, is closing in on the Australian. Thus, things are only going to get interesting from here on.

Can Osaka surpass Barty to regain her Number 1 rank?

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Purav Joshi

684 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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