World number one, Osaka out of Birmingham

Naomi Osaka could be deposed as world number one after defeat in the Birmingham Classic

Naomi Osaka could be deposed as world number one after defeat in the Birmingham Classic

The likelihood of Australian Barty jumping to the top spot grew on Friday morning (AEST) when WTA rankings leader Osaka was beaten in the last 16 of the Birmingham Classic.

Osaka, who this week admitted she was struggling to adapt to grass, surrendered 6-2 6-3 to the world No. 43.

The Birmingham Nature Valley Classic is one of several grass-court tournaments taking place before Wimbledon begins on 1 July.

With her ninth successive victory - a 6-3 6-1 triumph over American Jennifer Brady - the French Open champion can overtake Naomi Osaka at the head of the rankings if she makes the finals.

Kyrgios, more often in the headlines for what he says off court than what he achieves on it, described world No. 1 Djokovic as desperate to be held in the same high esteem as Swiss great and 20-time Grand Slam victor Roger Federer.

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However, Barty was too focused and too good for Brady and made it nine wins in a row after claiming her maiden Grand Slam title in Paris earlier this month.

"I think the work that we have been doing over the last 12 to 18 months in particular but over the last three years is kind of all coming together".

Julia Goerges is next up for Putintseva after the 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist defeated Russia's Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-3.

Barty could face five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the last eight today should the 39-year-old see off sixth seed Wang Qiang of China. "I feel like I know exactly how I want to play in most matches, and it's just about going out there trying to execute as best I can". She has defended her rank since reaching No. 1 after winning her second-straight Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January. "I think my baseline game was very consistent, which was very fortunate for me. That was great. My opponent she also played well and it was nice to have answers to her play", said Williams.

Serving for the career-best triumph, the Kazakh landed a slice victor in game nine to march over the top and enter the quarter-final.

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