World number one in waiting Iga Swiatek admits to mixed emotions on Ash Barty retirement

Polish star will hit the top of the WTA rankings following Barty's decision to walk away from tennis.

Iga Swiatek paid tribute to Ash Barty after admitting she was overcome with emotion about replacing her at the top of the women's game.

The 20 year old former French Open champion will be the first Polish player to top the tennis world rankings when Barty is removed from the WTA Tour.

Swiatek is already riding a wave of positivity right now after winning back-to-back WTA 1000 events in Qatar and Indian Wells.

Those results have seen her leapfrog Barbora Krejcikova and Aryna Sabalenka at the perfect time given Barty's shock announcment this week.

"You already know that I like to cry, so I was crying for a long time," Swiatek said when asked about her new position in Miami.

Despite that emotion, Swiatek also admitted to a degree of sadness that her battles with Barty are at an end.

Swiatek has played Barty twice before and failed to even take a set from her, and the idea of that challenge disappearing is not one she welcomes.

"There was lot of confusion in me, for sure," she admitted. "But also sadness because when I think of the player that is really complete in terms of physicality, mentality, tennis-wise, I always thought of Ash and I always looked up to her. I mean, I still do!

"It would be really nice also to be able to compete against her for the next few years and actually try to play better and better, to be able to beat her slice. We're going to miss her, for sure.

"I really respect and I really think she's brave that she has made this decision because with all the expectations around.

"That's an example not only for us tennis players or other athletes, but every person that they should put their own happiness first."

READ MORE: Five tennis stars who, like Ashleigh Barty, retired far too early

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