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Dinara Safina to take Serena Williams' No.1 ranking

Dinara SafinaCurrent world No.2 Dinara Safina will overtake Serena Williams at the top of the new Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings to be published on April 20.

Serena will lose the No.1 spot because of suffering an upset in the first round of the Andalucia Tennis Experience. The injured American was defeated by 95th-ranked Klara Zakopalova, the Czech who had only won two Tour matches in 2009 before this week.

Here’s what Safina said about the news:

It's a great honor to reach the number one ranking and it is a dream that every girl who has ever wanted to play professional tennis shares. It is even extra special for me since my brother Marat was able to reach the number one ranking (in 2000) and I am happy to share this achievement with him. There's no question that while I am very proud of my results over the past year, I would have liked to reach this achievement in a different manner. I hope to prove to everyone over the coming months that I merit the honor of being world number one.

The 22-year-old Russian will become the 19th woman to hold the top spot. (source: BBC, photo: Getty Images via Sony Ericsson WTA Tour)

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16 thoughts on “Dinara Safina to take Serena Williams' No.1 ranking

  1. Zuleika

    YES X 10^500000000000000- Finally, those who discredit Dina can no longer deny the truth; despite the fact this Wo.1 ranking was not acquired via recent success, it was due to a progressive accumulation of consistent wins, commencing with Roland Garros last year. The upper eschelon of commentators and spectators of the game have always asserted she is has the 'talent', but Dina's consistency was arguably the critical factor which had marred early success and inhibited her potential. She unlocked the solutions during the latter half of 08 and the impending consistent success truly justifies this ascension in the WTA to ultimate supremacy. Let's hope this signifies the restoration of Dina dominance on the tour, an emulation of late 08 and a milestone for the next exciting chapter of Women's tennis. To infinite success and beyond!

  2. Dave from Tennis DVDs

    What was Serena doing playing in that tournament?

    Watching her in the Miami final I thought she would be out for at least a month.

    I cannot believe she would be playing just for appearance money.

  3. nacho

    hi marija!!!! it's been a long time since the last time i commented.. but i've benn too busy!!
    it's geat for dinara congrats she is the second russian to achieve #1 ranking!!

  4. fyuto

    Anyone who celebrates a no.1 like Dinara is delusional,she knows deep down she is not the no.1 player in the world.Its not her fault but the ranking stystem,soon it will upfor grabs in four weeks when the ranking points come off from Charleston,Rome and RG.I think womens tennis has sunk low when a player like Safina is no.1 no wonder Kim is coming back.

  5. Marija

    Hi nacho, welcome back! :)

    BTW, I'm tired of speculating whether a player deserves to be No.1 or not. My stance is that if they reached the top spot, they deserved it. Nepotism, cheating or bribe didn't help them become top ranked, so I see their success as well deserved. No matter the ranking system and its shortcomings, it's not an easy thing to achieve.

  6. tennisobsessed85

    I'm slightly annoyed and confused that Dinara is taking the number 1 spot from Serena. Serena is far more consistent than Safina.

    In 2008, she was in the final in 3 of the 4 Grand Slams and won 1 of those 3. Safina on the other hand got to the first round of the AO, 3rd at Wimbledon, was the runner up at the FO and a semi-finalist at the US.

    Then in 2009, Williams won the Australian Open and in the final she annihilated Dinara 6-0, 6-3. Since then she's been in the semi-finals onwards of every tournament she played except for the one she recently lost in the first round. She was badly injured and it was on clay which is not necessarily her strongest surface (despite winning at the French in 2002).

    Safina has fallen flat in almost all of the tournaments she has participated in and hasn't gone past a semi-final since the AO in a tournament that Serena is also playing in.

    Let's not forget, Dinara struggled against a motivated, determined but out of form Jelena Dokic in the Australian Open quarters but finally sealed it 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 narrowly.

    How could the WTA take away Serena's number 1 spot and, to be quite honest, she is the only player on the tour that is consistent and on form. I suggest that if you were to take Serena's top spot from her then replace her with somebody such as her sibling who has remained brilliant (apart from a slip up at the AO) and has won almost every tournament she has entered or give the number 1 ranking to Elena Dementieva who has finally broken in to the top 3 although she is a consistent, reliable and determined player who should have been in the top 2 long ago!

    Once again, I think this changing of the guard is ridiculous. It's like Serena has been bageled a hundred times over.

  7. Bróna

    Even if she hasn't won a grand slam she's still been in 2 major finals. JJ hadn't even been in one grand slam final when she became number 1. Safina's been struggling recently but her results last year were no fluke. I'm not a huge Safina fan but it would be a shame to see her struggle just like Ivanovic did when she got the top spot. I believe that Safina will eventually win a grand slam and she will put things right. We should just be happy that there is a new number 1, it keeps things interesting.

  8. tennisobsessed85

    So you're saying that the years that Graf and Navratilova (and those other WTA players who held the top spot for years) wasn't interesting?

    I hated it when JJ was the number 1 as well. It's just a complete sham and mocks the other players. To be honest, it just goes to show the mess that the women's tour is in at the moment.

  9. Bróna

    I never mentioned Graf and Navratilova or other players that held the top spot for years and I never said that they were not interesting. They probably were, I'm too young to remember. The tour is in a mess but to be honest I prefer to see many players doing well instead of having just one dominant force at the top of the game. It gets a bit predictable after a while when you have one or two players winning every big tournament.

  10. Zuleika

    I do not understand why certain readers are questioning the legitimacy or the logic, if I may say, behind these points. It is not the WTA tour's fault who are t is just your 'beloveds' Serena who failed to save or add to her points, and therefore she was USURPED by Dina- The points are objective, they ACCUMULATE, hence the name 'ranking system'- the WTA tour cannot just slam points to different players here and there, nor can they put Venus- No. 5 at No.1 because, guess what, she didn't earn them and Dinara did. The WTA only publish the rankings weekly so however much you think Williams sisters are great, or 'consistent' or are the 'champions' if the points they've 'earned' themselves don't reflect that, then Dina will be world. NO.1 whether the WTA tour likes them or not or whether you are 'confused' or 'annoyed.'

    So really the W'TA tour has sunken low' when those Williams sisters failed to protect their tournament ranking points and the fact that your 'consistent Serena' lost in the first round, whilst Dina progressively accumulated them from last year. Oh and where were your brilliant Williams at the Olympics last year, oh I remember, they were so consistent, they both lost before Dina!

    Marija, perhaps, some readers still don't understand how the ranking points work and the fact the WTA cannot just adjust rankings at their own will, like some who are biased would think, they are a legitimate, publishing agency.

    So Dina critics, STOP PERSONIFYING THE WTA, it's not their fault, but your own 'beloved' Williams sisters who failed to protect their tournament points.

  11. nacho

    OMG this has become such a controversy!!! Dinara will be number 1 next week period we like it or not!! theres nothing we can do about it!! she did well last year, she played a lot of tournaments and did well at them!! so the number one ranking is a reward for hard work and consistency.. I'm not a fan of dinara or the williams sisters but serena and venus didn't play as much tournaments as dinara did.. so obviously dinara has more points.

  12. tennisobsessed85

    Let me clarify, I am not an obsessed Williams fan. In fact, far from it. I prefer Dementieva, Kuznetsova and Mauresmo out of all the players on the tour. I just find it staggering that Dinara has managed to get to the top spot. She's a talented player but at the end of the day, the point system really needs to change. Perhaps Serena shouldn't be at the top but I wish the points were clearer and I wish you could see why Dinara has taken the number 1 ranking.

  13. tennisobsessed85

    And you want to bring up the olympics…who did Dinara lose to in the final: Elena Dementieva. I know I like Elena but I think she shouldn't be in the top spot but in the top 3. So it shows that Dinara has taken the top spot while Elena wasn't even allowed in the top 3.

  14. Zuleika

    You're implying if Dementieva and Dina were in a direct ranking points competition, 'So it shows that Dinara has taken the top spot while Elena wasn't even allowed in the top 3', Dementieva would win and hence this wouldn't justify Dina's ascension to the pinnacle? Well, we don't know where you have been for the past nine years where both have been major competitors on the circuit and at the endo of nearly a decade, Dina, still on 23, has secured the no. 1 and Dementieva's best, to date, has been no.3. Elena posesses, I believe, the greatest consistency, but ultimately it's Dina who basks in golden glory.

    Official reasons as to why Dina is at the pinnacle of women's professional tennis: as precisely summarised by

    http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=3140

    Safina has won four Tour titles over the last 12 months: the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin (last May), the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles and the Rogers Cup in Montréal (last summer) and the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo (last fall). She has also finished runner-up five times, twice on the Grand Slam stage: Roland Garros last year [where were Elena and the Williams? Well Elena LOST TO Dina in the quarters in a three setter, after eradicating Shriekapova and subsequently beating Kuzy. Venus succumbed to Pennetta and Serena, well, what can we say, a third round loss to Srebotnik.] and the Australian Open this year). Last year she also became the first player ever to beat three different reigning world No.1s in the same season (Henin, Sharapova, Jankovic). The Russian's ranking vaulted from No.17 to No.2 last year, bringing her the Tour's Most Improved Player Award for 2008.

    How else exactly, would Dementieva be not 'allowed into the top 3'? Once again, this is implausible as you are implying third party intervention.

  15. tennisobsessed85

    Okay fair enough. I take in to account what you are saying and why Safina is the new world number 1 but I give it 2 months maximum. Sorry.

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