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24 June 2019, 06:47 | Updated: 24 June 2019, 06:52
Ashleigh Barty hit her way into the history books at the Edgbaston Priory Club on Sunday, beating Julia Goerges 6-3 7-5 to win the Nature Valley Classic.
23 year-old Barty is the first Australian to reach No.1 since Evonne Goolagong in 1976 and is also the first Australian ever to lift the Maud Watson Trophy in Birmingham.
Great week here in Birmingham, many positives to take from the week and glad to have gotten so many grass court matches ahead of Wimbledon. Huge congrats to @ashbar96 and her team for the title, becoming world number 1 #teamjule #Wimbledon #NatureValleyClassic pic.twitter.com/1VIaO8MW5W— Jule Goerges (@juliagoerges) June 23, 2019
Sunday’s final marked her twelfth match win a row during the month which has seen her play the best tennis of her career, win her first Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros, conquer the strongest player field ever seen at the Nature Valley Classic and take top spot in the rankings for the first time in her career.
“It's just hard to put into words what we have been able to achieve over the last few years and to be where we are now is just incredible. To be mentioned in the same sentence as Evonne is incredible. she is an amazing person, and what she has done in her career was incredible and what she continues to do off the court for us as a sport is amazing.”
This was Barty’s sixth career WTA Tour title and her third of this year following her victories in the Miami Open in March and Roland Garros. This is Barty’s second British grass court title after last year’s victory at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham but her first on grass at WTA Premier level and therefore most prestigious. She is entered into next week’s Nature Valley International before heading into Wimbledon, almost certainly as top seed in the women’s draw.
“It is always a goal to try and be the best. It's ultimately why we train, why we compete and play, but for it to happen in this way has been amazing,” said Barty. “It's a testament to all of my team who have put so much time and invested so much passion and energy into my career and try and make me the best that I can be.”