Serena Williams Back at No. 1
An emotional Serena Williams returned to the top of women’s tennis on Friday, overcoming a series of potentially career-ending injuries since 2010 to become the oldest woman to hold the No. 1 ranking.
Williams, 31, grabbed the top spot by rallying from 4-1 down in the third set to beat the former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open in Doha.
Williams will replace Victoria Azarenka at No. 1 when the rankings come out next week. Chris Evert held the top ranking in 1985 just shy of her 31st birthday.
“I never thought I would be here again,” Williams said. “Oh my gosh, I’ve been through so much. I never thought I would be here.”
Shortly after winning Wimbledon in 2010, Williams had two operations on her right foot after cutting the foot on broken glass. Later, she had blood clots in her lungs and needed to inject herself with a blood thinner. Williams had to go to the hospital when those shots led to a pool of blood under her skin.
Williams lost the top spot to Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 and tumbled down the rankings. But she made a comeback worthy of a No. 1 in 2012, winning Wimbledon, the Olympic gold medal, the United States Open and the season-ending W.T.A. championships.
Julien Benneteau upset an out-of-sorts Roger Federer, 6-3, 7-5, to reach the semifinals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. … Rafael Nadal overcame a poor start and a difficult third set to advance to the Brazil Open semifinals in Sao Paulo, beating Carlos Berlocq, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.