What a season for Ashleigh Barty!
What a season Ashleigh Barty has had. She literally came out of nowhere to dominate a women’s field where nobody seems to step up. Serena fell short again, other than winning the Wimbledon title, Halep was average throughout the year. Andreescu showed dominated the summer but plagued by injuries she was not able to continue her dominance. Finally, we saw a resurgent Osaka towards the end of the year, winning with more frequency and setting herself up to storm the WTA finals. However, she too ran out of steam, as with much of the women who either pulled out of the WTA finals or looked lackluster.
Barty started the year strong with a quarterfinal finish at the Australian Open. Her coming out party was really at the Miami Open, where she was able to beat Bertens, Kvitová, and Pliskova to take the title. Little did we know then that her biggest breakthrough would come at the French Open, where she tore through the field to win her maiden Grand Slam at still the relatively young age of 23. She followed up her title by taking the Birmingham title and was a favorite at Wimbledon. Although she didn’t perform very well during the summer at both Wimbledon and the US Open, and some may say it was the pressure of being number one, she quickly corrected during the Asian swing, getting back to her winning ways and ultimately finishing strong at the WTA Finals by taking the title. So, no argument here, she won three incredibly important titles and is now the undisputed number one player in the world.
How will she fare in 2020? It will be tough for Barty to consolidate this number one ranking. There is too much parity in the women’s game and with names like Osaka and Serena looking to establish themselves and win some Grand Slams, she’ll have her work cut out for her.