(Reuters) – French Open champion Ashleigh Barty could become the first Australian woman to top the tennis rankings in more than 40 years if she wins the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham following Naomi Osaka’s second round exit on Thursday.
Osaka, who became world number one after winning the Australian Open, needed to reach the Birmingham final to guarantee she would stay ahead of Barty in the rankings but lost 6-2 6-3 to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.
Barty - Work - Jennifer - Brady - Thursday
Barty made short work of Jennifer Brady, beating the American 6-3 6-1 on Thursday to book her place in the quarter-finals and will become world number one if she goes on to win the tournament.
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