Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Women: Clijsters ends Serena's reign

First Belgian to hold No.1 ranking

The Associated Press

Kim Clijsters officially replaced Serena Williams at No. 1 Monday, becoming the first woman to lead the rankings without having won a Grand Slam tournament.

Clijsters is the 12th player atop the WTA Tour's computer rankings since they began in 1975, and she's the first Belgian.

Williams was No. 1 for 57 straight weeks.

"This is a very special day I'll never forget. No matter what will happen the rest of my career, no one will ever take that away from me," said Clijsters, whose first full year on tour was 1999. "It's something that I will always have on my resume."

She won her tour-leading sixth title of the season Sunday in Carson, Calif., beating former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in the final.

Clijsters has reached at least the semifinals of all 14 tournaments she's entered this season, including at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. But she made just one final at those events, losing the championship match at Roland Garros in straight sets to countrywoman Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Williams, in contrast, won titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, giving her five of the past six majors.

But Williams hasn't played since Wimbledon, and left knee surgery Aug. 1 is expected to keep her sidelined about two months, meaning she will not be able to defend her U.S. Open title.

Her older sister Venus also has been out of action since Wimbledon, because of a stomach muscle injury. She is down to No. 5 in the rankings, her lowest position since July 2000.

The computer rankings are based on a player's best 17 tournaments over the preceding 52 weeks, and Clijsters is being rewarded for consistency and for playing week in, week out.

She plays far more often than either Williams. This year, for example, Serena has played in only seven events, Venus in six.

The 44-point gap at the top is one of the smallest in rankings history.

Women's top 10 rankings

1. Kim ClijstersBelgium
2. Serena WilliamsUnited States
3. J. Henin-HardenneBelgium
4. Lindsay DavenportUnited States
5. Venus WilliamsUnited States
6. Amelie MauresmoFrance
7. Jennifer CapriatiUnited States
8. Daniela HantuchovaSlovakia
9. Chanda RubinUnited States
10. Anastasia MyskinaRussia

Rogers AT&T Cup Results

Monday at The National Tennis Centre, Toronto

Surface: Hard-Outdoor

Singles - First Round

Katarina Srebotnik, Slovenia, def. Silvia Farina Elia (11), Italy, 6-4, 7-5.

Jill Craybas, United States, def. Maureen Drake, Canada, 6-3, 6-1.

Angelique Widjaja, Indonesia, def. Emmanuelle Gagliardi, Switzerland, 6-2, 6-2.

Virginie Razzano, France, def. Arantxa Parra, Spain, 6-2, 6-4.

Saori Obata, Japan, def. Shinobu Asagoe, Japan, 7-5, 6-4.

Fabiola Zuluaga, Colombia, def. Meilen Tu, United States, 6-3, 6-2.

Vera Zvonareva (10), Russia, def. Barbara Schett, Austria, 6-1, 7-6 (3).

Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, def. Laura Granville, United States, 6-3, 6-3.

Magui Serna, Spain, def. Tina Pisnik, Slovakia, 7-5, 6-3.

Janette Husarova, Slovakia, def. Maria Elena Camerin, Italy, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

Doubles - First Round

Julia Vakulenko, Ukraine, and Mashona Washington, United States, def. Janet Lee, Taiwan, and Wynne Prakusya, Indonesia, 6-4, 6-4.

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