‘I can’t pick anyone else’ – Martina Navratilova backs Ashleigh Barty to stay top of WTA heap in 2022
Ashleigh Barty defended her WTA number one ranking through 2021, and Martina Navratilova finds it difficult to pick someone to overtake her.
The Australian led the WTA tour with five titles this season, including a second career Slam triumph coming at Wimbledon.
She then secured a third consecutive year-end number one crown, joining the likes of all-time greats Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova as the only women to achieve such a feat.
Indeed, Navratilova herself sees Barty as a tough woman to beat, backing the 25-year-old to continue her dominance into 2022.
“At the end of 2022, I would be hard-pressed to pick somebody over her,” Navratilova told the WTA about Barty holding onto the world number one spot.
“She’s the most complete player out there. She’s also well-rested and has had time to improve her game even more.
“So everybody’s behind, and it’s going to be hard for those nipping at her heels to catch up.
“Can anybody be healthy enough, consistent enough to take away the number one ranking?
“And play better than her for the entire year? If they can, I’ll take my hat off. But I don’t see that happening if she’s healthy.”
Barty has been uninterrupted as world number one since 9th September 2019, more than 100 weeks consecutively, plus 20 weeks when the rankings were frozen in the middle of 2020.
The Australian will be hoping to go deep at her home Slam beginning 17th January.
Her best result there came in 2020 when she reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin.
? Read >> Breaking tennis news
? Follow >> 24/7 LIVE scores
? Free >> Receive our legendary newsletter
? Order >> World’s best tennis magazine