October 6, 2009

Serena advances at China Open; Returns to #1

BEIJING - Serena Williams reclaimed the world number one ranking on Tuesday with an easy 6-3, 6-2 second round win over Russia's Ekaterina Makarova at the China Open. The path to the top spot was cleared for the 28-year-old Williams, who last held the top ranking in April, when current number one Dinara Safina crashed out of the tournament on Monday, losing to Chinese wild card Zhang Shuai (ranked 226th in the world). By besting Safina's performance here, Williams - the current world number two - is now mathematically assured of moving up to the top of the WTA rankings when the new list is issued Monday.

Williams first held the number one ranking in July 2002, staying at the top for more than a year until August 2003. The 11-time Grand Slam winner again rose to the top in September last year for four weeks, and again earlier this year for 11 weeks from early February until mid-April. Williams, the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, won the China Open in 2004. She also won Olympic doubles gold with sister Venus here last year.

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