Barty to play Goerges for Birmingham title and No. 1 spot
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 23, 2019 07:25 AM
FILE - Australia's Ashleigh Barty makes a backhand return to Russia's Maria Sharapova during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — French Open champion Ashleigh Barty will play Julia Goerges for the Birmingham Classic title on Sunday, and clinch the world No. 1 spot if she wins.
Barty extended her winning streak to 11 games and secured her third final of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 win over two-time runner-up Barbora Strycova on Saturday.
Goerges defeated Croatia's Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal.
Second-ranked Barty needs to win the grass-court tournament to overtake Naomi Osaka in the rankings on Monday. Osaka lost to Yulia Putintseva in the second round on Thursday and must wait to see if she'll still be top heading into Wimbledon, which starts July 1.
Barty, who can become the first Australian female No. 1 in 43 years, says: "If I win, it's a bonus. There are all things that come with it, but those things are certainly not what I'm worried about."