Ivanovic to Take No. 1 Tennis Rank After French Open
Posted on June 5, 2008
PARIS, FRANCE -- The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour will crown a new world No. 1 on Monday, June 9 when the latest rankings are published, following Ana Ivanovic's nail biting win over compatriot Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals of Roland Garros today. Ivanovic replaces Maria Sharapova at the top of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings after a three week reign by the Russian and becomes the first player representing Serbia to hold the No. 1 ranking, adding yet another milestone to her already long list of remarkable accomplishments.
What started as an historic day in Paris, with three of the four semifinalists primed to become No. 1 in the world for the very first time in their careers (Ivanovic, Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova), finished as a one woman race, with Ivanovic to face Dinara Safina in the final for the first Grand Slam singles title of their careers on Saturday. Regardless of the outcome of that match, Ivanovic will become world No. 1 on Monday.
At 20 years and seven months, Ivanovic becomes the seventh-youngest player to reach No. 1 since Tour rankings were created in 1975, behind Martina Hingis (1997), Monica Seles (1991), Tracy Austin (1980), Steffi Graf (1987), Maria Sharapova (2005) and Kim Clijsters (2003) who were all at least 20 years and three months or younger when they reached No. 1. The Serbian sensation also becomes the 17th top-ranked player in women�s tennis history, joining a distinguished list that is comprised of Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Jennifer Capriati, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Amelie Mauresmo, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Maria Sharapova.
"Being No.1 is a dream come true for me," Ivanovic said. "It was a big surprise because I was so focused on the tournament. This is a great achievement and something that I'm very proud of. It hasn't exactly hit me yet because it won't be official until Monday. I'm sure we'll have a big celebration then."
"We have all witnessed the dramatic rise in Serbian tennis during the last few years and on Monday that will reach a new pinnacle when Ana Ivanovic is recognized as the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's new No. 1 player," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "Ana is both a remarkable player and person, and no doubt the best is still yet to come in her still young career. It is inspiring to see Ana's years of hard work and determination being rewarded."
Ivanovic has had a remarkable 12 months posting particularly strong results at the major events, reaching the finals of the Australian Open and Roland Garros in 2008, while being a semifinalist at Wimbledon and the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in 2007, all told, she's reached the semifinals or better in nine of her 18 events in the last 52 weeks.
This year alone, the 20 year-old Serb has won one title already at the prestigious Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells California, defeating Jankovic and Kuznetsova en route. She was runner-up to Sharapova at the Australian Open in January and a semifinalist at two other Sony Ericsson WTA Tour stops in Sydney and Berlin en route to compiling a 26-6 match win-loss record coming into the Roland Garros final.
Ivanovic first burst to prominence less than four years ago in the second round of Zurich, where as a 16-year old qualifier she pushed Venus Williams to two tiebreaks after holding set points in each set and has steadily risen up the rankings since then. Her season-ending ranking has improved from No. 705 (in 2003), to No. 97 (in 2004), to No. 16 (in 2005), to No. 14 (in 2006) and to No. 4 (in 2007).
-- WTA Tour