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Serena Williams ridicules Dinara Safina’s No.1 ranking

Serena WilliamsWorld number two Serena Williams has today won her 11th Grand Slam title, and in the post-match presser she wasn’t as polite as her sister Venus, but instead made fun of the WTA ranking system and hence of the current top-ranked player Dinara Safina.

Here’s what Serena said in the interview:

Q. How much of a motivation is it for you to try and regain the world No. 1 ranking?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I'm not super motivated. I think if you hold three Grand Slam titles maybe you should be No. 1, but not on the WTA Tour obviously, so…

You know, my motivation is maybe just to win another Grand Slam and stay No. 2, I guess (laughter).

Q. Does that disappoint you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. If it did, I would go crazy just thinking about it. I think anyone really could. That's just shocking. But whatever. It is what it is. I'd rather definitely be No. 2 and hold three Grand Slams in the past year than be No. 1 and not have any.

Q. Do you see yourself as No. 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I see myself as No. 2. That's where I am. I think Dinara did a great job to get to No. 1. She won Rome and Madrid (laughter). (photo: Ralf Reinecke)

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44 thoughts on “Serena Williams ridicules Dinara Safina’s No.1 ranking

  1. Teerin

    Surprise surprise, Serena strikes again. While I agree that Dinara does not deserve the No. 1 ranking. I think she deserves a lot of respect. She's a very great player in her own league. Grass is not her surface yet she made the semifinals. I think people are only making fun of her because she has yet to win a Grand Slam. Coming into the French Open, she had four straight final while Serena had four first round loses, all consecutively.

  2. tennisfan

    Serena is making fun of the wta ranking system. All experts agreed that they (wta)need to fix the problem. You don't see this on the men's side.

    She is speaking the truth! She is only saying what everyone else is thinking. Don't hate her for that. I'm sure Dinara wishes the system was fixed too. Then she would not have the pressure of being number one without having won a major.

    Git er done

  3. Lily

    I'm not surprised she complains about the ranking system. I agree with her, yes she's won many Grand Slams this past year/last year, hence she should be moving up in the rankings, but she will just have to wait her turn; she'll be #1 again, but she shouldn't be taking this away from Dinara, who worked hard as well. I mean, grass isn't her favorite surface and she improved to the Semis this year. Just wait it out Serena.

  4. Lily

    Haha, I just noticed something. She's not wearing the earrings she had on during the match. I find jewelry kind of annoying when playing tennis, anything dangling around my neck could get in my face and disturb me during a point, and big earrings (like Serena's heart earrings) or the long dangling earrings other girls wear seem to be a hindrance to me as well. I don't know if it's just me, but why wouldn't she be wearing them now when she's not playing tennis? lol. Just an interesting observation; she probably had a shower and forgot to put them back on or didn't want to? But she put the necklace back on. Just something to think about.

  5. Lays Guerrero

    It's not Safina problem she stay in nº 1 posicion…is Serena problem, 'cause Serena don't defent her points!!!

    Now, she need to look at her sister and try to be like her, Venus is a great exemple of respect!

    She just win two major, just leave the tennis world so boring…leave us alone Serena!!!!

    Safina deserve to be nº 1 'cause she play a lot, defent her points and win WTA tittles!!

  6. Nick

    They are making her pay for leaving the sport. She deserves this. A little dose of reality. She's the best, no doubt. But there's no dedication. She doesn't even like tennis as far as I'm concerned. That's sad.

  7. nastyserena

    serena is disgusting and needs to wear a longer skirt. justine needs to come back and put that silverback gorilla back in her place by making a few "lucky shots".

  8. Someone

    Another proof that Serena Williams is a b***h with no manners and no sportmanship!

    Just shut up Serena!!!!!!!!!

    Someone should teach her RESPECT and GOOD MANNERS!!!!!!

  9. Political Season

    @nastyserena, thats kind of a racist pig comment to make. I can't get too mad though because that is apparently the best you got up against the facts, which is that Serena is holding down mega titles while some of these others you speak of don't have much to show.

    I find it interesting in a society that likes to claim its about merit that people want to champion a system that rewards attendance over performance. The Williams come out to play in some of the biggest competitions and whoop the field's butt, but that doesn't earn them #1 billing. Safina has no majors, V and S have multiples, but Safina is #1. Where is the performance.

    So go ahead, hate on them. But you can't hate away the facts. They are the best. We know this how? Because they WIN.

  10. vidbor

    she is absolutely right. holding 3 out of 4 grand slam titles and playing quarterfinal of the forth is absolutely world no. 1 to me.
    she is the best tennis player today.

  11. Teerin

    If she can't win out of the Grand Slams then she don't deserve the No. 1 spot, no matter if she wins 3 out of 4 majors. She's trying to make the points double again in the Grand Slams. Dinara Safina has been doing well overall, two finals, one semifinal, and so many titles outside the Grand Slams. For your information, Miss I-Wanna-Be-No-1 did not win any titles outside the Grand Slams.

    And people can always say on people who disagree with them that "it's racist", only because they are black.

  12. Marija

    Lily, about the earrings: this photo is from some other press conference, it's not from Wimbledon.

    Nastyserena, watch your language.

  13. Only Alice

    Serena is the best female tennis player in the world. No one's going to judge you on your world ranking when your career is over, but how many Grand Slams you won. And she's won 11.

    Whilst I'm not keen on this floor in the rankings either, if they devalue the other tour points that will follow with a decrease in sponsorship and then a decrease in top players playing in places like Sweden, India, Italy etc because the points won't have any impact!

  14. Kurt

    Safina may have gotten to n°1 too soon, but she got there by constantly playing tennis on a level which is as good as possible. Unlike the Williams sisters, who've chosen to appear only on the tournaments where you can gain the most points. So in a way, by ridiculing the WTA system, Serena is also ridiculing herself.
    In the past 12 months Serena only played four WTA finals, while Dinara managed to get to 9 WTA finals (and the final of the Olympics). It's true that Safina hasn't managed to win a Grand Slam final, but then again, up to 2009 Federer never won Roland Garros. Did that make him any less a good player?

    Serena is just jealous that she isn't number 1 anymore. Her Wimbledon 2009 win may have made her one step more important (but she's still no Chris Evert or Steffi Graf), but this silly heckling of Safina shows how ill-mannered Serena Williams really is. Her beloved history books will also show Williams hasn't been able to win an olympic medal (unlike Safina) and that Safina and Mauresmo were the first player to play under Wimbledon's brand new roof. Maybe Serena was stung by those records and felt the need to lash out.

    Serena should put some of that lip balmer (as advertised on her site) on her lips and shut her big mouth.

  15. vidbor

    she is not motivated to play on other tournaments. i wouldn't be if i played tennis professionally for 10 years. where will safina be in 10 years time? nowhere.

  16. Julio

    What else can I say? You guys said it all with your comments: Safina has been just more consistent during all year. She maybe has lost some crucial matches soooo quickly, specially in Grand Slams, but she deserves to be numer 1 right now. Serena (and Venus also) only try to do their best when at Grand Slams… OK, they are the biggest tournaments, but there are only 4 of them in the year, which begins on January and ends on November… You can't expect to be number 1 playing only 4 good tournaments in 10 months.

  17. Gedi

    Serena is the best!!!
    Guys let's all consider this. Serena has won every major at least once. She has overall 11 Grand Slams more than any other woman on the tour. She is the only active player to have won the career grand slam. she has 3 out of the last 4 majors and reached the quaterfinals in the other. ON THE OTHER HAND, Safina is a big time choker!!! she choked at last year's French Open against Ivanovic, she choked in this year's Aussie Open against Serena, she choked in this year's French Open against Kuznetsova, and last but not least she choked against Venus in Semis of Wimbledon (6-1, 6-0) How can the #1 player in the world choke like that??? I think Safina should be in the top ten, but it's a JOKE for her to be number one. Serena thrives in majors and safina chokes in majors. Big difference.

  18. dhagax

    Gedi you are right on the money!!! Serena is indeed the best. I think she should have chosen her words carefully; nonetheless, she said what everyone was thinking. I feel sorry for Safina, she can't perform on the big stage, i hope she has her breakthrough soon. I wish her well and sarena is the best and in my mind and in the minds of most tennis fans and observers, she is #1 No doubt about that!!!!

  19. julie

    For those who say that grass is Safina's least favorite surfice and clay is where she shines then i have a question for you. Why did she choke in the last two French Open finals? Last year Ivanovic trumped her and this year Kuznetsova demolished her even though she was the favorite. I think Safina got game; unfortunately, she can't overcome her nerves in Grand Slam Finals or key semifinals like the one against Venus. Safina was the underdog in the match, so she had nothing to loose. she should have given all she got and leave everything on the court. instead she acted as though she was the favorite and crumbled. It was painful to watch her and to see the number one player in the world destroyed like that. To be honest she didn't even play like a top 100 player, she played like a #1000 player. What can i say, she needs to overcome her bumpy nerves if she is to have a chance at winning a Slam.

  20. ANDERSON

    Here are the STATS:
    SARENA: GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLES (11) GRAND SLAM DOUBLES (9) GRAND SLAM MIXED DOUBLES (2) That's 22 overall slams!!!
    SAFINA: GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLES (0) GRAND SLAM DOUBLES (0) GRAND SLAM MIXED DOUBLES (0) That's (0) overall slams!!!
    The stats speak for themselves.

  21. Missy

    I am a proud American and I always root for the American. The Williams sisters are Americans, so when they play against players from other nations I always root for them. Sadly, the American media is hostile to the Williams. I guarantee you if they were representing another country, the media of that nation would be supporting them hundred percent. the williams sisters are winning slams and gold medals for the red, white and blue and the American media and especially tennis commentators like mary carillo are hostile to them and cover thair matches with disdain. whenever i watch a williams match againt a player from another nation, most American commentators root for the other player. i have to say that's pretty pathetic. well, not all of us have a tolerant heart and i am lucky to have a tolerant heart. Go Williams, go Roddick, Go USA!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Geellis

    I love this stuff. Folks it's simple. The rankings are as they perhaps should be. It's neither the fault of the rankings nor Dinara that the OBVIOUS best player in the world is not ranked number one. There are good reasons for the system to work as it does. Don't hate the player, hate the game. But in this case, you can't even do that. The system must award points for winning other significant events. That's appropriate. However, it's equally clear that Serena is BY FAR, the best player in the world. At her best, there's no one close. It have ever been so. And at whatever ill-bred racist loser "nastyserena" is, you can hate all you want, but neither you, nor the WTA rankings system can ever take away what is crystal clear to even the most casual observer. Serena, for all her arrogance, is simply by far the best player of her generation. GAME, SET MATCH!!!

  23. Samuel Whitener

    The wta ranking system is flawed, Safina has played a lot of matches,but the resolve of a champian is winning the big ones. For those of you who don't count the major titles Serena hold's mabey you want to count the MONEY!! who's number 1????

  24. Sev

    People People People.
    Safina has 11 career titles.
    Serena has 11 Grand Slam titles.

    It makes you look so stupid when people say Safina deserves the #1 ranking because she reached 3 slam finals and 2 semis. Are you basically saying that it's better to reach the finals and semis, instead of actually winning them ? Puh-leeeeze

  25. Logic

    The WTA ranking is flawed. Just look at the ATP rankings, it is much better managed. For example this tennis season Federer has won one 1 ATP and 2 Grand slams and has become number 1. Nadal has won 4 ATP titles and 1 grand slam (AU), and has remained number 2. Wherease at the WTA Safina has won just 2 WTA titles, which are Rome and Madrid, Whereas Serena has won 2 Grand slams. So clearly Serena should be number one, but unfortuanlty the WTA do not regard the Grand slams as big tournaments.

    Players are remebered for their Grand slams not for their wins at the Madrid open or Rome.

    Remember Federer is considered the greatest player of all time for his 15 Grand Slam titles not for his 60 ATP career titles.

  26. Nate

    I think Serena needs to get off her high horse and deal with the fact that she doesn't show up to play in enough of the other tournaments. Safina has demonstrated a level of consistency that has landed her at the top of the rankings. I certainly don't believe that Safina plays at the level of a number one, but Serena doesn't deserve to be number one if she doesn't show up to win year-round. Let's take a look this year alone:

    Safina:
    Finalist at Sydney
    Finalist at Australian Open
    Quarters at Indian Wells
    Finalist at Stuttgart
    Winner in Rome
    Winner in Madrid
    Finalist at French
    Semis at Dutch Warm-Up Tourney
    Semis at Wimbledon

    Serena:
    Semis at Sydney
    Winner at Australian Open
    Semis Paris
    Semis at Dubai
    Finalist at Miami
    Quarters at French
    Winner at Wimbledon

    Both players had a smattering of early-round exits, notably Safina in Dubai and Miami, and Serena in Madrid and Rome(tournaments that Safina won) – the rankings system rewards players who play consistently all year long, not just save themselves for the big tournaments. Safina has out-performed Serena thus far, and people just need to keep their shirts on. If Safina keeps playing like this she won't be #1 for long. If she remains #1, it's because she's playing well. The rankings are fine. Serena has to deal like every other tour player.

  27. tennisfan

    I have never commented on a site like this. However, the comments made by nastyserena made me livid. It's not Serena that's disgusting, it's YOU! That was an awful, racist and totally inappropriate thing to say. In the future, please stick to the facts and don't insult us with your ignorant, uneducated opinions.

  28. Logic

    The WTA have their own ranking system, which works by players gaining points for entering tournaments. It is a lot different compared to the ATP one. The ATP system is a lot more successful, whereas the WTA does not truly show who is number 1 but who entered the most tournaments and progressed through the most. The Williams may have won many more tournaments if they entered more, but they simply don’t need to, they don’t need the money from these minor tournaments and possibly don’t have the time.

    Safina got beaten 6-0 6-1 by Venus at Wimbledon, which was officially the worst loss for a reigning number 1 player in the Open era. Just shows how the flawed the system is.

  29. Lissa

    Kurt,
    Safina doesn't have an Olympic medal. Dementieva does. However, Serena has a doubles Olympic medal which Safina doesn't have! As for the ranking, it rewards consistency, not greatness. Safina is the most consistent player this year, Serena is the best player. What is galling however is seeing the most consistent player on tour consistently self-destruct on the big stage. Watching Safina play on Grand Slam is unbearable, her facial expressions, her on-court demeanor, her double faults, it's all unwatchable! She is a mental midget and I would prefer to have JJ, her of the puff-ball serves, be #1 again. At least JJ was mentally strong back then.

  30. Marija

    Lissa, Safina has an Olympic medal, a silver one though.

    "She is a mental midget and I would prefer to have JJ, her of the puff-ball serves, be #1 again. " hahaha

    However, I have to say, Safina is not always a mental midget, just in Grand Slam finals. She's actually one of the greatest comeback players.

  31. fyuto

    Serena has 2 gold medals thats what the olympics are for…. gold medals no matter what discipline.I dont think Federer would be considered great if he had not won 15 slams,thats the yardstick of tennis and Safina has to win a slam beating Serena in a slam final to be considered a true no.1.She was bagelled a week ago at Wimbledon…so much for being no.1

  32. Pingback: New WTA Tour chairwoman and CEO Stacey Allaster defends the ranking system | Uncategorized

  33. george

    I have a solution: let's all respect Serena and Safina and enjoy the game. How about that? I can live with that, can you?

  34. safina!!

    i dont care what people say the points system is fine!! serena may win the grand slams but what else has she won? nothing! safina is the most consistent player and therefore has earnt her ranking points she is good enough to defend her ranking points where serena doesnt really care there is no problem!! look at the mens rankings?? they are fine .. same system GET OVER IT!!

  35. Pingback: Marat Safin protects sister Dinara from attacks concerning her ranking | Dinara Safina

  36. colon cleanse

    Proof today that Serena is right. Yes Venus struggled through her 1st round match, but the difference was that Safina was constantly screaming and staring at her coach for help. She should not be the #1 player in the world! No way, she can't even play a first round match without nearly imploding.

    Shock horror! If she had lost that match against the young Aussie today she still would've been #1! WTA sort out this farce!

  37. delois

    i agree with SERENA about one thing, i would rather have 2 slams, than 4 titles is a year, and stay no. 2, which she is, and since then she added another slam. she wont make it a grand slam, because she lost at the french. the media is partly the balme for asking a stupid, and serena is the blame for answering the way she did, but i love her anyway. Dinara Safina shoud see a sports phychology like Svetlana K. did it helps her to win the french open this year.

  38. Cbyrne

    excuse me ANDERSON but safina does have a grand slam, the 2007 US Open women's doubles title. She is a fantastic doubles player. I feel sorry for her because she has worked very hard, a bit like Murray, and people should respect her she did dominate the clay court season up to the French Open and really should have won it. However I dont think its right for Serena to make such nasty comments, who does she think she is? She has done this before about Henin which she has no respect for whatsoever, and saying that Venus is the best player on tour next to her is not necessarily true personally I think Henin is the best next to her as Venus is no force nowadays apart from at Wimbledon. Safina is a great player and should be respected for what she has achieved. And dont hate on these tennis players we cannot imagine how hard they have worked and how talented they are. Serena should stop it, theres no need for such behaviour. She should take a leaf out of Roger Federer's book on how to act like a gracious World No.1 instead of setting a bad example, or look at Nadal for that matter he has perfect manners and respect, unlike her. It's about time the women's tour started respecting each other instead of being so bitchy, the men are much nicer to one another and respectful they always give credit. The only one of I can think of on the WTA who consistently does that is Sharapova. Enough said

  39. emily

    Why aren't people attack the press corp that a laughing at Safina too. They make it worse, Safina had been attacked constantly as an unworthy No1 by the press since she got there. The press know Serena is very funny and they can get that kind of comment, they had no respect for Safina and she was terribly damaged by it all.
    Tracy Austin also said she and Jankovic shouldn't be no 1 without a Grand Slam.

  40. Ben C

    Emily is probably right that this was blown up by the press. It continued over the following months and then Safina's form just plummeted. It's a possibility that Safina was badly affected by all of this. It's a bit like people saying that all the hard work you've put in was for nothing and you're not worthy.

    Lots of ignorant comments here – that someone has won grand slams over a year ago makes no difference to their WTA ranking and of course it shouldn't. Also Serena generally plays fewer competitions than most players which of course affects her ranking. When she has suffered an injury, it tends to have been between grand slams, allowing her to bypass some of the lower-scored compulsory tournaments. For those who follow tennis eagerly, we know that tennis is much more than just the grand slams and of course it's also about performance in all of these competitions – reaching a grand slam final is a major achievement in itself.

    The grand slams are a sizeable chunk of the WTA ranking system but certainly not more than half of the points on offer to championship winners. I think a lot of the comments about 'grand slam = no.1' comments are from people who just watch the grand slams for 8 weeks each year.

    It's a pity that Serena didn't see fit to soften her comments later. I can't imagine that most WTA tennis players would agree with her as they all play the same system involving dozens of competitions of which the GS are important but not the whole story and performance in any competition is reflected by the points.

    When she held it, Safina had earned the no.1 spot and this whole incident involving Serena and the press was unpleasant for women's tennis.

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