Ash Barty Is Officially The Number One Tennis Player In The World
The first Aussie since 2003.
Praise is pouring in from politicians, sports stars, celebrities and the Australian public, but new world No.1 Ashleigh Barty doesn't plan to change.
Barty and her small but tight team, led by coach Craig Tyzzer, headed for Eastbourne after winning the Birmingham Classic on Sunday, following a couple of celebratory beers, to continue her Wimbledon preparations.
On Monday the 23-year old will officially be announced as the world's top-ranked player - the first Aussie to do so since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003.
As No.1 seed for Wimbledon next week she'll also now be one of Australia's most recognisable names and faces.
But for the down to earth Ipswich native, who feels happiest being in her home town rather than amongst the glitz, glamour and tradition of the All England Club, it's business as usual.
"It's an amazing place to be in (No.1) but certainly nothing changes," Barty said.
"I have support and love coming from all over the world.
"It's been incredible the amount of support that I have received, particularly from Australians.
"But it's not something that I ignore, not by any means. It's there, there is not really much I can do about it.
"I'm trying to go out there and do my thing on the court and kind of let that do the talking."
This week Barty goes back to where she began her stunning career revival three years ago as she comes to terms with being the player to beat.
It was at Eastbourne, a sleepy seaside town on the English south coast, that Barty returned from her 18-month sabbatical and made a remarkable run to the semi-finals.
Her ranking at the start of the tournament was just inside the top 1000 and she was forced to go through qualifying to reach the main draw.
Fast forward three years and the 23-year-old has a first round bye and as is the No.1 seed in stellar field containing several of the world's top women players.
"It was my first singles tournament ... and I played in qualis through there, so Eastbourne has a very special place in my heart," said Barty.
"We had a very vague plan to try and get back in obviously to the rhythm of it and to playing again.
"But certainly not for it to happen this quickly. It is always a goal to try and be the best.
"It's ultimately why we train, why we compete and play, but for it to happen in this way has been amazing.
"It's a testament to all of my team who have put so much time and invested so much passion and energy into my career and try and make me the best that I can be."