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Australian Ash Barty defeats Venus Williams in the Birmingham Classic, set to become world No. 1

Australia’s golden girl Ash Barty storms to victory against grand slam champion Venus Williams – and closes in on world number one ranking

  • Ash Barty is just two wins away from becoming world number one tennis player 
  • She defeated Venus Williams to reach the semi-finals of the Birmingham Classic
  • If Barty wins the title, she will overtake Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings
  • The Queenslander will face Barbara Strycova in the semi-final on Saturday

Australian star Ashleigh Barty is just two wins away from becoming world number one after she defeated Venus Williams to reach the semi-finals of the Birmingham Classic. 

Barty, 23, defeated Williams in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 on Friday night.

If Barty wins the Birmingham title, she will overtake reigning U.S. Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings with 6540 points.

But if Barty loses the final, the French Open champion will be just two points behind Osaka – 6377 to 6375.

Australian star Ash Barty (pictured right) is just two wins away from becoming world number one after she defeated Venus Williams (pictured left) to reach the semi-finals of the Birmingham Classic.

Barty’s title win would see her emulate the feat of her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley – the last Aussie woman to occupy top spot 43 years ago. 

‘It would be incredible, absolutely incredible,’ she said.

‘But for the time being, I just have to try and think about my preparations and keeping everything exactly the same and doing what I have been doing to get myself to this point.

The Queenslander will face Barbara Strycova, ranked 51st, in the semi-final on Saturday at 8.30pm (AEST). 

If Barty wins the Birmingham title, she will overtake reigning U.S. Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings with 6540 points

If Barty wins the Birmingham title, she will overtake reigning U.S. Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings with 6540 points

Barty said she won’t put pressure on herself to become No.1 in the world. 

‘If world No.1 happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s certainly not something I’m stressed about.

‘If I keep putting myself in the right position and doing the right things, it may come, but if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.’

The Queenslander (pictured with professional golfer boyfriend Garry Kissick) will face Barbara Strycova, ranked 51st, in the semi-final on Saturday at 8.30pm (AEST)

The Queenslander (pictured with professional golfer boyfriend Garry Kissick) will face Barbara Strycova, ranked 51st, in the semi-final on Saturday at 8.30pm (AEST)

The Queenslander jumped from world number eight to become the second highest ranked female tennis player after she defeated 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-3 in the French Open final earlier this month.

It was her first singles Grand Slam title, although she won the doubles at the US Open last year.

It took Barty just three short years to climb from number 623 in the world to number 2 after returning to tennis from a hiatus, saying she never closed the doors on the sport.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk