Serena Williams should be world number one

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Another blockbuster performance from Serena Williams in the final of Wimbledon on Saturday ensured that the American now holds three of the four Grand slams.

This achievement should suggest that Williams would be ranked world number one.

However, remarkably this is not the case, with Dinara Safina beaten by Serena’s sister and Wimbledon runner-up Venus Williams (6-1 6-0), currently occupying the top spot in women’s tennis.

The Russian has enjoyed a promising year, gaining titles such as the Rome and Madrid Masters. She has also reached the finals of the Australian and French Open in 2009, but still does not currently possess any of the four majors.

Compare this to the dominant Serena Williams, current champion of Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the US Open, it highlights the current absurdity in the ranking system of the Women’s Tennis Tour (WTA).

The ranking system currently favours the player who is the most consistent throughout the tennis calendar. Hence Safina who has won after appearing in four tournament finals on the WTA, claiming two victories and reaching two Grand Slam finals.

These statistics indeed concur with WTA chief, Larry King, that this is the fairest system and readily accepted by all those in the locker room.

“The ranking system is designed sort of around king or queen of the hill – who is the strongest, most consistent performer over the year,” he said.

“While I know it does stir debate, the one place it doesn’t stir a debate is in the locker room. The players believe in that ranking system.”

This could be an exaggerated claim as Serena Williams clearly doesn’t agree that the current system reflect who is the leading woman’s tennis player.

After destroying her older sister Venus in the Wimbledon ladies final yesterday, she still sat at World number 2, currently over 1,000 points behind the Russian, Safina.

Williams who was in jovel mood on the back of claiming her 3rd Wimbledon crown. Speaking to the media she joked about the absurdity of the rankings system.

When asked how much of a motivation was reclaiming the number 1 spot in women’s tennis for her, she candidly replied:

“You know, I’m not super motivated. I think if you hold three Grand Slam titles maybe you should be number, but not on the WTA Tour obviously…’

Amid chuckles from Williams and laughter from the media present she further added: “You know, my motivation is maybe just to win another Grand Slam and stay number two, I guess…”

Williams, who has completed a career Grand slams, enjoying the attention from the onlooking journalists went on to take another swipe at Dinara Safina, ironically saying:

“I see myself as number. That’s where I am. I think Dinara did a great job to get to number one. She won Rome and Madrid…”

It’s not the first time she has raised her concerns about the equality of the system. In March she daringly declared herself as the top women’s player on the WTA circuit.

One could see this as arrogance on the part of Serena Williams but surely she does have a valid point. The grand slams are the main events of the tennis year. Surely the should be waited as such.

It’s all very well playing consistently throughout the year, picking up Sony Ericsson WTA titles. The titles all tennis players want are the Grand Slams.

Ask any tennis fan who won the Madrid or Rome masters, and it will be highly unlikely they’ll know. But everyone knows who won Wimbledon.

So I offer my congratulation to Serena Williams, the unofficial women’s World Number one.


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