By Alexandra Willis
7 October 2010
Caroline Wozniacki will become the seventh-youngest world No.1 in the history of the WTA Tour when the new rankings are calculated on Monday, replacing Serena Williams at the top of the women’s rankings after reaching the quarter-finals at the China Open in Bejing.
As revealed by sporting intelligence, the 20-year-old Dane needed to excel in Tokyo and Beijing to take the ranking from the injured younger Williams sister. Winning the Tokyo tournament, she defeated Petra Kvitova to advance to the latter stages in Beijing, and become the first Danish tennis player to be ranked No.1 in the world. She is also the 20th woman to hold the top spot since the computerised rankings began in 1975.
“I’m very proud of becoming No.1 in the world. It’s always been a dream for me to achieve the No.1 ranking and today is a great day for me,” the young Dane said.
Minutes after Wozniacki saw off Kvitova in straight sets, it was revealed that Serena Williams, who has held the No.1 ranking for a 49 consecutive weeks since 2 November 2009 but not competed since Wimbledon, will make her return to the tour at the WTA Generali Ladies Linz in Austria next week.
Wozniacki is the fifth woman to be ranked No.1 in the world before winning a Grand Slam tournament. Kim Clijsters became No.1 in August 2003 before winning her first Grand Slam at the US Open in 2005. Amelie Mauresmo became No.1 in September 2004 before winning the Australian Open in 2006. Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina, who became No.1 in the world in August 2008 and April 2009 respectively, are yet to win a Grand Slam tournament.
The Dane, who is the first player to win five titles in a season since Justine Henin captured 10 in 2007, is one of only two players (alongside Venus Williams) to reach at least the fourth round of every Grand Slam this year. She also holds the second-longest match-winning streak of the year, having won 13 matches between Montreal, New Haven, and the US Open.
The youngest female player to be ranked No.1 in the world was Martina Hingis, at the age of 16 years, six months, and one day. Monica Seles and Tracy Austin both claimed the ranking at the age of 17, Steffi Graf and Maria Sharapova at the age of 18, while Kim Clijsters was the youngest 20-year-old, ahead of Wozniacki, at 20 years, two months, and three days.
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