Ashleigh Barty poses after winning the final against Germany's Julia Goerges in Birmingham on Sunday. Reuters
The 23-year-old French Open champion emulates Yvonne Goolagong Cawley — like her an indigenous Australian — who held it for a fortnight in 1976.
Barty — the first Australian to win the French Open since Margaret Court in 1973 — displaces Japan's Naomi Osaka as women's world number one.
Even more extraordinarily, it comes less than five years since she took time out from tennis to play cricket in 2014.
Ashleigh Barty returns to Julia Gorges in their women's singles final match in Birmingham on Sunday. AFP
Nevertheless, she said it had been a childhood dream to be tennis number one, even though this year her and her team had only targeted the top 10.
"I mean you always dream of it as a little kid, but for it to become a reality is incredible, it really is," said Barty after receiving the trophy in a tournament she had not dropped a set in. "It's not something that was really in my realm.
"We started from scratch without a ranking and now to be where we are, not only for me, is a massive, massive achievement for them."
Barty said it was an honour to follow in Goolagong Cawley's footsteps.
Julia Goerges returns to Ashleigh Barty in their final match on Sunday. Reuters
"To be able to follow in the footsteps of Yvonne, even to be mentioned in the same sentence as her, is incredible," sad Barty.
"What she's done for our sport, for Australians all around the world, not (those) just based in Australia, she's put us on the map.
"And what she's done for indigenous Australians is just remarkable."
Barty showed little sign of an arm injury — the same one she had going into the French Open — which saw her pull out of the doubles on Saturday where she was partnering Goerges.
Barty saved two break points early in the first set but she made no mistake when she was offered the opportunity — Goerges putting a backhand wide to give the Australian a 4-2 lead.
Barty closed out the set without further ado — the pick of her shots a delightful lob into the far corner which Goerges tried valiantly to get back but it dropped short of the net to give her a 5-2 lead.
'Be very boring'
Goerges, though, struck back in the second set, breaking Barty in her first service game and the German held her own to move into a 3-0 lead.
Barty broke back, however, when Goerges sent a forehand out to get back to 3-2.
Goerges, leading 4-3, took Barty's next service game to deuce with a superb volley, but the Australian extricated herself from trouble and levelled at 4-4.
Barty had a break point in the next game but Goerges found the wherewithal to fight back and win the game to go 5-4 up.
Ashleigh Barty (R) and Julia Gorges pose for a photograph with their trophies on Sunday. AFP
Goerges had a set point in the next game but Barty, showing her championship-winning mentality, saved it with an ace and then held serve to make it 5-5.
Barty, by contrast, did take her chance when it came in the following game, breaking Goerges and then wrapped up the title and the top spot with her service game.
Barty said her celebrations would have to be pretty muted.
"Get in the car and get down to Eastbourne (her next tournament)," she said.
"We'll just be very boring, to be completely honest, we've got a big couple of weeks coming up.
"Make sure we're ready to go, but we'll certainly have a beer or two."
The angle of Ash Barty’s climb to the top of women’s tennis has been so steep, the rise so fast, that the sight of her name perched on top of the Wimbledon draw as top seed and favourite still requires a second glance.
Eighth seed Barty got off to a strong start and never looked back, winning 6-1, 6-3 after only 70 minutes to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.
Simona Halep kept alive hopes of regaining the world number one ranking Sunday, beating Polona Hercog 5-7, 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 to reach the last 16 of the WTA and ATP Miami Open.
Roger Federer admits he faces a real battle to land the 101st title of his career with the in-form Daniil Medvedev next up after Serbian Filip Krajinovic was dispatched 7-5 6-3 on Monday at the ATP and WTA Miami Open. The Swiss superstar produced an excellent all-round performance despite being tested by the world number 103 who belied his lowly ranking by producing some excellent tennis during an exciting first set.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry delighted the Royal Portrush crowds as he seized a four-shot lead at the end of the third round at the British Open on Saturday. The 32-year-old Offaly man shot a hugely-impressive eight-under par 63 for his round and 16-under for the tournament to put one hand on the Claret Jug at Portrush.
MUMBAI: Mahendra Singh Dhoni has opted out of India’s tour of the West Indies, leaving the team’s selectors to start beginning their search for his successor once the long-serving wicketkeeper-batsman hangs up his boots for good. The former India skipper has decided to take a two-month break and serve his army regiment
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio was the hero for Wolves, saving three spot-kicks after their Asia Trophy final against Manchester City went to penalties on Saturday in Shanghai. Wolves won the exhibition tournament 3-2 on penalties after the game against the Premier League champions ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.
Jakarta: PV Sindhu stormed into the final of the Indonesian Open after beating China’s Chen Yu Fei 21-19, 21-10 in the semi-final in Jakarta on Saturday. She will now face Japanese fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi in the final on Sunday. Both players will be playing for their first ever Super 1000 title. Sindhu had reached the semis