ASH Barty is coming towards the end of her breakout tennis season admitting only to a goal of making the top 20 with a bounce from her "backyard'' tournament in the summer.
Barty has risen in the rankings from No.271, when she started the year at the Brisbane International, to No.23 with five wins over top-10 players amid a tour consistency she says has excited her.
The Ipswich 20-year-old will be one of the 32 singles seeds for the first time at a Grand Slam when she contests the Australian Open, but will probably not have one of the eight seeds for her lead-up Brisbane International event from December 31-January 7.
"We are on the cusp of the top 20 so I guess that's the next one,'' Barty said after confirming her Brisbane entry during a break in training at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
My goal for the year was be in the top 100 by the end of the year, then it was top 50. We hit those benchmarks reasonably early in the year in pretty emphatic fashion, some of the wins I have had.
"For me, Brisbane will always be a stop on my calendar. It's my backyard and I really love playing on this court.''
Barty is waiting to hear if she will receive a wildcard into the WTA's Zhuhai year-end tournament from October 30 contested by the highest ranked players not involved in the eight-woman WTA Championships in Singapore played in the previous week.
If not, she had played her last singles match for the year.
Regardless, her focus is the doubles with Casey Dellacqua at the Singapore event as one of the eight best performed combinations of the year.
"It would be pretty special to play in Zhuhai, but Casey and I want to do well in Singapore,'' Barty said.
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