Congratulations Lisa! Raymond Back At No.1
Published April 23, 2012 12:00
It isn't her first time there, but this time it's historic - Lisa Raymond has joined Liezel Huber at the top of the doubles rankings this week, becoming the oldest player ever to hold the No.1 ranking in singles or doubles on the WTA.
Having put together phenomenal careers already, Huber and Raymond first teamed up at Charleston last April, and now, after exactly 12 months of playing together exclusively, the Americans are co-World No.1s. At age 38, Raymond surpasses the previous record held by Kveta Peschke, who did it at 36.
"It's definitely a lot more special this time than ever before," Raymond said. "I'm the fittest I've ever been in my career, and I found the right partner too.
"Liezel and I always say it's about the team - you win together and you lose together, and you work hard together. This is gratifying for both of us - and for me at 38, to be back to No.1 after such a long road, it feels amazing."
Huber and Raymond have captured eight titles together, all since last August, and all at very prestigious tournaments - most notably the US Open and WTA Championships last year, but also six Premir tournaments (Toronto and Tokyo last season, then Paris [Indoors], Doha, Dubai and Indian Wells this year).
Though she had a great singles career too, Raymond's doubles career just keeps getting more and more legendary: this week will be her 118th career week at No.1, fifth place all-time (just six weeks short of fourth place Natasha Zvereva); she has 78 career titles, sixth place all-time (just two titles short of fifth place, again Zvereva); and she is the only player ever to be co-No.1s with three different partners (she did it with Rennae Stubbs and Sam Stosur).
Raymond has won WTA doubles titles with 10 different partners and has had a lot more success with other players as well - here are some of their congrats:
"Lisa has worked very hard over many years, had great results and achieved so much. She is a true champion and to achieve the No.1 ranking again is unreal! I congratulate her on a fantastic career and many more titles to come!"
~ Liezel Huber
"I am so happy for her. She has worked so hard to be back at the top and I can't even imagine doing that at 38! She and Liezel make a great team and will be going for the gold at the Olympics."
~ Mary Joe Fernandez
"Lisa's return to the top of the doubles rankings is of no surprise to me. She rededicated herself to the sport she loves and again is showing people why she is considered one of the best doubles players of all time. Her talent has always been so evident to anyone who has ever seen her play, and her weaknesses are few. She is the only true serve-and-volleyer still out there and to see her back at the top where she belongs at 38 is amazing. Proud of you Lis!"
~ Rennae Stubbs
"I couldn't be more proud or happy for Lisa to get back to No.1. I know how hard she has worked these past few years to get in great shape and get back to the top of the rankings. I was a huge believer that she and Liezel should pair up as I think the world of both of them and love to see them doing so well. Lisa is SO incredibly talented and now so fit, so it's not a huge surprise she's back on top.
"I have so many incredible memories with Lisa. We were so young and naive when we started playing together in 1993. Philly was our first tournament and we had an absolute blast. We then decided to play the next year together. We defeated then-No.1 team Fernandez and Zvereva at Indian Wells, and it was a riot looking back - we were so nervous and in shock we were winning. We went on to win the tournament, which is actually on my list of career highlights.
"We've been friends for 20 years now and it has been a pleasure."
~ Lindsay Davenport
"I think it's fantastic Lisa has managed to get herself back to the top of the rankings. She has had a long career with most of it right at the top. I was fortunate to have played with Lisa for a few years - we didn't have the greatest first month together but after that we really clicked. I have many great memories of my time spent playing with Lisa. I still remember telling her how nervous I was during our first Grand Slam final at the US Open - my other stand-out memory is when we won the French Open the following year. It was her first French title so to be the person she won that with is also something very special."
~ Sam Stosur