MELBOURNE, Australia - Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will be the new WTA World No.1 after the Australian Open on Monday, January 29, returning to the top exactly six years after she last held the No.1 ranking.
By virtue of winning her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne, Wozniacki, currently ranked No.2, has dethroned Simona Halep as the WTA’s top player. Halep will drop to World No.2 after the rankings are released on Monday.
Wozniacki will be the fifth different player to hold the No.1 ranking in the last six months after defeating Halep in a nearly three-hour epic on Saturday, 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4.
“It was a dream come true to rise to World No.1 in 2010, but, to do so again after so many years really makes me proud,” Wozniacki said. “To become World No.1 again after winning my first-ever Grand Slam here in Melbourne is one of the happiest and proudest moments of my career.”
The 27-year-old Wozniacki has previously held the No.1 ranking for 67 non-consecutive weeks, starting on October 11, 2010 and ending on January 29, 2012 - exactly six years to the date as when she’ll return to the top.
Even more impressive, that six year gap is the longest gap between stints at World No.1 in WTA Rankings history (since November 1975). Wozniacki beats the previous record held by Serena Williams of five years and 29 days.
Wozniacki’s return to the top comes as a result of a dominant run of form dating back to the 2016 US Open where - unseeded and ranked No.74 in the world, her lowest ranking in years - the Dane blazed through the draw to reach the semifinals, springboarding back into the Top 30.
That result seemed to galvanize Wozniacki and it put her in perfect position to keep rising in 2017, recording one of the best seasons of her career.
“This is a special moment for Caroline and I congratulate her on this deserving feat,” said WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon. “Caroline’s journey and career has been remarkable and inspiring to fans around the world. Her hard work and determination has paid off and we at the WTA are very proud to see her attain the very special ranking of World No.1.”
She reached the quarterfinals or better at 14 events, reaching finals at the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Miami Open, Aegon International Eastbourne, Ericsson Open in Bastad and Rogers Cup in Toronto before claiming the title at the Premier-level Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and capping it off with the biggest title of her career at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
Wozniacki began the year in winning form as well, reaching the final at the ASB Classic in Auckland, before continuing her momentum to win the title in Melbourne.
Although she started off the tournament saving match points in her second round clash against Jana Fett, Wozniacki beat out four other players who also entered Melbourne with a shot at Halep’s No.1 ranking.
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This article was first seen on www.wtatennis.com.