Ashleigh Barty fist pump

Ashleigh Barty just three wins away from being crowned world number one

Ashleigh Barty is just three wins away from being crowned word number one after Naomi Osaka crashed out of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham – although Venus Williams is up next for the Australian.

Osaka has held onto the position since the Australian Open, although he form has certainly suffered for it.

That struggle for rhythm continued as she sank to a 6-2, 6-3 defeat to world number 43 Yulia Putintseva, while newly-crowned French Open champion Barty continued her seemingly relentless recent charge with a 6-3, 6-1 success over American Jennifer Brady.

“I feel like I’m playing some great tennis,” Barty told the press.

“I think the work that we have been doing over the last 12 to 18 months in particular but over the last three years is kind of all coming together.

“The stars have aligned a little bit for me, and I think when you get those opportunities you have to do your best to take them with both hands.

“I feel like I’m comfortable in my own skin. I feel like I know exactly how I want to play in most matches, and it’s just about going out there trying to execute as best I can.”

Williams, who Barty faces in the quarter-finals, was far too good for Wang Qiang in Birmingham, easing to a 6-3, 6-2 win.

The 164 page tennishead Wimbledon magazine is now available to order online with reduced postage costs here

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.