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NewsTennisSerena Williams could surrender top spot after withdrawing from Tokyo and Beijing

Serena Williams could surrender top spot after withdrawing from Tokyo and Beijing

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By Alexandra Willis

24 September 2010

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Serena Williams is in danger of surrendering the world No.1 ranking, after her long-awaited return to the game at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo was further delayed. Williams, who this week travelled to London for the Burberry show at London Fashion Week, has not competed since Wimbledon after injuring her foot on a glass bottle at a restaurant in July. At the beginning of the week, the 13-time Grand Slam champion revealed to fans on her website that she had stopped wearing a protective boot around her injured foot, but tournament organisers confirmed that she was not yet physically fit to compete in Tokyo, and is unlikely to compete at the China Open in Beijing.

The younger Williams, who didn’t drop a set on her way to her fourth Wimbledon title in July, joined Andy Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Cat Deeley at the prestigious Burberry showcase, and was in good spirits during her trip to London. Showing herself to be a fan of the Harry Potter series, she tweeted, “Everytime I come 2London I can’t help but feel like muggle that knows about wizards. I’m always on the lookout for something strange 2happen.”

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Serena meets the Queen at Wimbledon

According to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, in Serena’s absence from both Asian events, Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva both have a mathematical chance of seizing the No.1 spot, but not until the week of the Beijing tournament (4-10 October). The 19-year-old Dane, runner-up at the US Open last year, will have three opportunities to become the first Dane to be ranked No.1 in the world: if she wins Beijing (regardless of her result in Tokyo), if she reaches the semi-finals or better in Tokyo and the final in Beijing, or, if she wins Tokyo and makes the quarter-finals or better in Beijing.

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In the event that Wozniacki does not achieve either of the three scenarios, should Zvonareva win both titles, or reach the final in Tokyo and win the Beijing tournament, she will overtake Serena as the world No.1.

Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova are the defending champions in Tokyo and Beijing respectively.

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