- Kerber ascends to World No.1 for the first time
- Becomes first German woman to achieve the WTA World No.1 ranking since Stefanie Graf in 1997
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that Germany’s Angelique Kerber will become the new WTA World No.1 when updated rankings are released on Monday, September 12.
The 28-year-old becomes only the second German woman to achieve this historic milestone since computer rankings were introduced in 1975, and the first since Stefanie Graf spent the last of her record 377 weeks at No.1 in March 1997. She is also the oldest player to make her debut at No.1, a record previously held by Jennifer Capriati, who was 25 years, 200 days when she reached No.1 in October 2001.
Kerber’s rise to WTA World No.1 brings to an end the reign of Serena Williams, whose sixth stint in the top spot began more than three years ago, on February 18, 2013. At 186 consecutive weeks, the American’s most recent stay at No.1 ties the Open Era record for most consecutive weeks at No.1 held by Graf. This is the 88th time the No.1 ranking has changed hands over the past four decades.
This accomplishment is the latest in what has been a breakout year for the German, who began the season by defeating Serena Williams to win her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, and followed up by advancing to the Wimbledon final, capturing a silver medal in singles at the Rio Olympics, successfully defending her title at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, and reaching the semifinals at the U.S. Open (ongoing). Kerber leads the WTA for most main draw match wins this season, at 52-14, and her other highlights include reaching two finals at the Brisbane International and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, and the semifinals at the Miami Open, Volvo Car Open in Charleston and Rogers Cup in Montreal.
“Congratulations to Angelique on this remarkable accomplishment of becoming the WTA World No.1,” said WTA CEO Steve Simon. “It is extremely difficult to reach the pinnacle of our sport, and Angelique has demonstrated amazing work ethic in the past year. Her outstanding results reflect this, and she truly deserves to be the new WTA World No.1.”
Kerber will be presented with the WTA World No.1 Trophy, which was unveiled last year at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. The focal point of the trophy is a silver “star-map” tennis ball that represents the tennis universe and where all world No. 1s, past and present, are depicted by a diamond in the sky, representing each champion leaving their mark on the sport.
Kerber has also qualified for the 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global in October, and will be making her fourth appearance at the year-end finale.