Justine Henin explains why Ashleigh Barty absolutely deserves No. 1 spot

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Justine Henin explains why Ashleigh Barty absolutely deserves No. 1 spot

Former world No. 1 Justine Henin thinks it's "regrettable" that Ashleigh Barty will not be competing at the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami. Barty, ranked at No. 1 in the world, pulled out of Indian Wells and Miami because she felt she wasn't where she needed to be in order to compete for the titles at those two events.

"[Ashleigh Barty] chose not to play in Indian Wells and Miami, which is regrettable. When you're No. 1, you have a certain responsibility, so I can understand the critics who say we need the best players - especially in the women’s game - to be present at the biggest tournaments in terms of achieving visibility," Henin said.

Henin praises Barty

Barty is aiming to finish the year ranked at No. 1 for the fourth consecutive season. "The WTA has a great No. 1 with Ashleigh Barty. She is undeniable and deserves 200% to be there! I like her intelligence in the way she manages her career.

Ashleigh Barty has always been in tune with herself, she has made strong choices and has embraced the need to pause when she feels it’s right to," Henin said. "I think it says a lot about a player who decides not to play for a long time but comes back at the same level.

Since her victory at Roland-Garros, she has been impeccably consistent." Barty sometimes gets criticized for her lack of charisma but she is also considered by many as a perfect ambassador for the game since her behavior on and off the court has always near perfect.

"She may be criticized for a lack of charisma but I really appreciate her personality. She has her feet on the ground, which is her strength," Henin said. "You can obviously talk about her tennis, but a lot can be said for her determination, simplicity and intelligence." At the beginning of the year, Barty achieved her childhood dream of winning the Australian Open.