Sport: Barty beats Bencic in WTA Finals opener - - PressFrom - Australia
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Sport Barty beats Bencic in WTA Finals opener

17:45  27 october  2019
17:45  27 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

Barty handed tough draw at WTA Tour Finals

  Barty handed tough draw at WTA Tour Finals Ashleigh Barty is poised to become Australia's first year-end world No.1 tennis player since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 but has a tough draw at the WTA Finals.All but guaranteed the year-end world No.1 ranking regardless of her showing in Shenzhen, Barty has been thrust into a devilish pool containing both this year's Australian Open finalists - champion Naomi Osaka and runner-up Petra Kvitova - plus Swiss prodigy Belinda Bencic.

Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen. country. 1. A. Barty . Re-live the action from the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen live on the WTA Insider Live Blog, as No.1 Ashleigh Barty earned her first career win at the WTA Finals to go 1-0 in the Red Group.

Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen. country. 1. A. Barty . Follow the action from the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen live on the WTA Insider Live Blog, as No.1 Ashleigh Barty faces No.7 Belinda Bencic for the first time in their careers.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia© Getty Ashleigh Barty of Australia Ashleigh Barty has all but secured the year-end world No.1 ranking with a steely comeback victory in her opening match at the WTA Tour Finals in Shenzhen.

Unless disaster strikes and she can't walk on court again this week and Karolina Pliskova takes the title, Barty's 5-7 6-1 6-2 win over Belinda Bencic on Sunday night earned the 23-year-old a place in tennis history as the first Australian woman to finish a season in top spot since rankings were introduced in 1973.

It is a feat that not even grand slam legends Margaret Court or Evonne Goolagong Cawley ever managed.

Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt, in 2001 and 2002, is the only other Australian to have held top spot at the end of a calendar year.

Barty's plan to continue raising the bar

  Barty's plan to continue raising the bar Not content with the year-end world No.1 ranking, Ashleigh Barty is intent on booking a spot in the WTA Finals with a win over Naomi Osaka on Tuesday night.Three years after returning to tennis following a stint playing professional cricket, Barty only needs to step on court and play one point against Naomi Osaka on Tuesday night at the WTA Finals to officially clinch the season-ending top ranking.

Nine months after beating Petra Kvitova in the final of the Australian Open to claim her second successive Grand Slam title, Osaka outlasted the 29-year-old Czech once again to make a winning start at. Ashleigh Barty looks set to end the year as world number one after beating Belinda Bencic .

Barty will be meeting Bencic , the number seven seed, for the first time in her career after being drawn in the Red Group also containing Naomi Osaka and Petra Really excited to have an opportunity now after a fantastic year to try and finish really well." No favorites in WTA Finals , says Barty .

The honour is a fitting reward for a phenomenal season of firsts for Barty, highlighted by her stunning French Open triumph in June during a life-changing 15-match winning streak in Europe.

Her tour-topping 53rd win of the year on Sunday also leaves Barty on track to qualify for the semi-finals at the season-ending showpiece, and the chance to crown her triumphant 2019 campaign in ultimate fashion.

The top seed can all but clinch a spot in the final four with another pool win on Tuesday against Naomi Osaka, who opened her campaign with a dogged 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 6-4 denial of 2011 season-ending champion Petra Kvitova.

The champion in China will bank the biggest cheque ever offered in men's or women's tennis, for at least $US4.1 million or $US4.7 ($A6 million or $A6.9 million) if they win the title undefeated.

Ashleigh Barty beaten by last-gasp Naomi Osaka replacement Kiki Bertens at WTA Finals

  Ashleigh Barty beaten by last-gasp Naomi Osaka replacement Kiki Bertens at WTA Finals Naomi Osaka's withdrawal saw Kiki Bertens get a late call to compete in the WTA Finals and the Dutchwoman made a winning start.World number one Ashleigh Barty suffered a surprise three-set loss to last-minute addition Kiki Bertens at the WTA Finals on Tuesday.

Red Group: Ashleigh Barty , Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic . World number one and Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty has had a sensational season that has Belinda Bencic was the last player to book a spot in the WTA Finals after her victory at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

WTA World No.1 Ashleigh Barty picked up her first Grand Slam title in 2019, winning the French Open. Top seed and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty headlines the Red Group, and is joined by Australian Open winner Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic .

But money can't buy the season Barty has put together.

"It's been an incredibly consistent year across all surfaces, across all contintents in the world," said Barty, the winner of titles on clay, grass and hard courts in 2019 and now chasing one indoors.

"I feel like (I've) played an exceptional level of tennis."

Bencic, also making her debut at the WTA Finals, certainly made Barty play some exceptional tennis in the first meeting between the two.

Playing aggressively from the back, the US Open semi-finalist took the opening set after claiming the only service break in the 11th game.

But just as she had done 10 previous times this year, Barty showed substance to match her class to rally from a set down and later sealed it with her 10th ace after one hour and 56 minutes.

Ash Barty wins WTA Finals over Elina Svitolina to claim biggest prize packet in tennis history .
Ash Barty claims the biggest winner's cheque in tennis history, beating Ukraine's Elina Svitolina to win the WTA Finals title and a $6.4 million prize packet.The cheque could have been even bigger, at $6.8 million, had she gone through the tournament undefeated, but a first-up loss to Kiki Bertens in the round-robin stage cost the world number one a few hundred thousand dollars.

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