Ash Barty officially loses World No. 1 ranking after just 8 weeks
Ashleigh Barty will get one final chance to secure the US Open top seeding after being surpassed as world No. 1 on Thursday.
Reigning Australian and US Open champion Naomi Osaka moved through the third round of the Canadian Open with ease, regaining the sought after position.
Osaka won the first set 6-2 against Tatjana Maria before the German retired due to an injury, giving the Japanese champion an open walkway to the last 16, where she will go head-to-head with Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek.
Osaka or Czech Karolina Pliskova are in the running to claim the No. 1 ranking next week after Barty’s 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 6-4 second-round loss to American Sofia Kenin on Wednesday.
After beating Alison Riske – the American who ended Barty’s 15-match winning streak in Wimbledon last month – Pliskova now also has her eyes on the prize.
Pliskova defeated Riske 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 and will face Anett Kontaveit, who made it to the next round when Carla Suarez Navarro retired.
Regardless, Barty’s eight-week stint as Australia’s first women’s world No. 1 since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976 will be over on Monday.
In the instance that Osaka reaches the quarter or semi-finals, Pliskova will need to compete in the final, or beat Osaka in the title decider to regain her position as No. 1 for the first time since 2017.
But it is not all doom and gloom for Barty – if she shows off a strong performance next week in Cincinnati, she could regain the top spot.