Iga Swiatek praised by Ash Barty WTA

Ash Barty declares there is ‘nobody better’ than Iga Swiatek to replace her at world number one

Iga Swiatek has the blessing of Ash Barty to become the new world number one after confirming that she will drop from the rankings following her retirement.

Soon after announcing the end of her professional tennis career, Barty explained that she will drop from the WTA rankings when they next update after the Miami Open.

That means Swiatek is all but guaranteed to replace her, something Barty fully supports.

She said: “I’m not sure of what the possibilities are [in the rankings], I’ve never been one to look at it much.

“I know that if it is Iga [Swiatek], there is no better person.

“She’s an incredible person, a great tennis player. The way that she’s brought this fresh, fearless energy onto the court has been incredible.”

Swiatek is a fellow Roland Garros champion having won the 2020 event as a 19-year-old, and without dropping a set no less.

She met Barty twice on tour, at the Madrid Open last year and in Adelaide this year, with the Aussie winning on both occasions.

Barty added: “I loved testing myself against [Swiatek], I loved playing her.

“I loved practicing with her and spending time with her team.

“She’s a brilliant person, and was one of the first to message me, which is really nice.

“I think she thoroughly deserves [to become number one].

“I hope that she can take it and still be her, do it her own way, and really chase what she’s after in her career and her dreams.”

Swiatek need only win her first match in Miami, against Viktorija Golubic, to ensure she will be number one after the tournament.

The only way she will not top the rankings after the event is if she loses her first match and Paula Badosa claims the title, in which case the Spaniard would top the rankings.

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