Venus Williams’ amazing 2015 continued with her third title win in Zhuhai, China, and is now ranked No.7 in the world.
At 35, Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner and former No.1, has now had her best season in a long time, winning three WTA titles at Auckland, Wuhan and Zhuhai (the first time she’s won three WTA titles in a season since 2008) and 41 matches (the most she’s won in a season since 50 in 2007).
The Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai is also the 48th WTA title of Williams’ career.
And so, her legendary career continues – here are seven amazing stats about Venus’ Top 10 return:
1) Venus was out of the Top 10 for more than four and a half years.
The last time Venus was in the Top 10 was the Miami fortnight in 2011 (March 21 to April 3). Born This Way by Lady Gaga was No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100; Moves Like Jagger wasn’t even released yet.
2) She’s fought her way back from outside the Top 100.
During her seven-month Sjögren’s Syndrome lay-off between September 2011 and March 2012, Venus fell out of the Top 100 for 29 weeks – bottoming out at No.137 the week of February 13, 2012.
3) She isn’t just inching back into the Top 10 – she’s going all the way to No.7.
By collecting the hefty champion’s haul of 700 points in Zhuhai, Venus rises from No.11 to No.7 on the WTA Rankings, passing Flavia Pennetta, Lucie Safarova, Angelique Kerber and Timea Bacsinszky.
4) She’s the oldest player to be in the Top 10 since New Year’s Day, 1995.
At age 35, Venus is the oldest player to be in the Top 10 on the WTA Rankings since a 38-year-old Martina Navratilova was in there the week of December 26, 1994 (which ended on January 1, 1995).
5) She’s also broken back into the Top 10 at the best time: year-end rankings time.
This is Venus’ 12th Top 10 finish: 1998 (No.5), 1999 (No.3), 2000 (No.3), 2001 (No.3), 2002 (No.2), 2004 (No.9), 2005 (No.10), 2007 (No.8), 2008 (No.6), 2009 (No.6), 2010 (No.5) and 2015 (No.7).
6) This will be her 555th career week in the Top 10.
Venus had already spent 554 career weeks in the Top 10 between March 30, 1998 and April 3, 2011 (a 679-week period – so she spent 81.6% of that time in there). She now hits a nifty 555 career weeks.
7) Venus’ first week in the Top 10 came more than 17 years ago. Yes, more than 17 years ago.
Venus first broke the Top 10 on March 30, 1998, right after winning her first huge title in Miami. She was 17 years and 9 months old at the time – she’s now almost twice that at 35 years and 6 months.