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Ranking Watch: Azarenka Ascends To No.1

Victoria Azarenka's triumph over Maria Sharapova for the Australian Open title lifted her to the top spot on the new rankings.

Published January 30, 2012 06:36

Ranking Watch: Azarenka Ascends To No.1
Victoria Azarenka

The Australian Open resulted in a changing of the guard atop the rankings, with champion Victoria Azarenka becoming the 21st player in WTA history - and the first Belarusian - to claim the No.1 spot. Previously No.3, Azarenka was the first player to make it to No.1 without ever having been No.2.

"It's a dream come true," said Azarenka, one of six players at the start of the fortnight with a shot at No.1. "I have been dreaming and working so hard to win a Grand Slam, and being No. 1 is a pretty good bonus with that."

Here are landmark ranking achievements from throughout Azarenka's career:

Date Ranking Note
7/10/06 No.99 Top 100 debut
5/17/07 No.49 Top 50 debut after SF showing in Prague
5/12/08 No.19 Top 20 debut after SF showing in Berlin
3/23/09 No.10 Top 10 debut after SF showing in Indian Wells
4/11/11 No.5 Top 5 debut after winning Marbella
01/30/12 No.1 No.1 debut after starting season 12-0 with two titles

As for the woman Azarenka replaced at No.1, Caroline Wozniacki fell to No.4. But the Dane has a lot to be proud of, having been No.1 for 67 weeks, ninth-most all-time. Other news within the Top 10 included two players establishing new career-highs. After spending 29 career weeks at No.8, Agnieszka Radwanska climbed to No.6, and Marion Bartoli went from No.9 to No.7, the highest a Frenchwoman has been ranked since Amélie Mauresmo was also No.7 in September 2007.

Also reaching career-highs were No.14 Sabine Lisicki, No.27 Angelique Kerber, No.38 Christina McHale - the WTA's highest-ranked teen - No.46 Galina Voskoboeva and No.92 Nina Bratchikova. Voskoboeva and Bratchikova made their Top 50 and Top 100 debuts, respectively, with Bratchkova's 44-spot jump the largest within the Top 100.

Other movers of note were Daniela Hantuchova and Romina Oprandi. Hantuchova went up a spot to No.20, her first venture within the Top 20 since November 2008. Oprandi vaulted from No.80 to No.63 to become the top-ranked Swiss player, having switched her nationality from Italian since the last rankings were released.

On the doubles rankings, Lisa Raymond climbed from No.4 to No.2, her highest ranking since she was also No.2 in August 2007. Also, Andrea Hlavackova went from No.14 to No.10 to make her Top 10 debut.

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