Former world No. 3. Pam Shriver thinks Ashleigh Barty will be replaced at the top in 2022. Barty, who captured her first Wimbledon title in 2021, finished the year ranked at No. 1 for the third consecutive season. “Actually, I think there will be a new No.1.
I’m not exactly sure whom, but I think Ash has had a great run and I think it could be somebody in the Top 5," Shriver told the WTA. “I’m looking at the points, and I think the most likely one is Garbiñe Muguruza.
It could be Aryna Sabalenka, if she buries those demons. It wasn’t just what Garbiñe showed at Guadalajara, but she and [coach] Conchita [Martinez] have developed a solid partnership. I feel she’s underachieved in the last couple of years, but I think the second half of 2021 she started to show more of the promise that took her to a French and a Wimbledon title.
I’m looking at Ash’s lead and it’s not insignificant."
Barty ended her 2021 season prematurely
After suffering a shock loss to Shelby Rogers in the US Open third round, Barty returned home and didn't play any events in the rest of 2021.
Barty rested well at home and then had a strong offseason. “Here’s the thing: After the US Open, Ash lost to Shelby Rogers and then she shut down her year. So if she wanted to chase the year-end ranking – and who knows where the WTA is going to go after the US Open with China for the moment out of play – let’s say it’s something that makes sense for Ash.
Certainly, she’s got no points falling off after that," Shriver explained. “But I feel like Ash Barty, as great as she is, I don’t see her as being on top for 154 consecutive weeks. She’s so solid, but I just think someone else is going to step up”.