LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Five weeks ago her loyal partner Sara Errani got it, and now she gets it - Roberta Vinci has become the No.1 doubles player in the world as of Monday, the 30th player - and third Italian - to do so.
While Errani and Vinci have the same best 11 tournaments, and thus the same amount of ranking points, Vinci has played two more tournaments over the last 52 weeks, and thus has more total ranking points. With that she rises to No.1 in doubles, the third Italian player to do so after Flavia Pennetta and Errani.
"I'm so happy to finally get to No.1 in the world - it's unbelievable," Vinci said from Luxembourg on Sunday. "It's like a dream - you play to become No.1, and now that it's happening, it's just incredible. But it's not just about my ranking - to be the No.1 doubles team in the world with Sara is the most incredible."
Errani and Vinci have won a WTA-leading eight doubles titles together so far this year, including two Grand Slams (the French Open and the US Open), two Premier-level tournaments (Madrid and Rome) and four International-level tournaments (Monterrey, Acapulco, Barcelona and 's-Hertogenbosch).
What's the secret to their success? "I think we play a really good doubles game - I love to volley and play the net, and she likes to play on the baseline," Vinci said. "But I love playing doubles even more because I'm playing with Sara. She's my best friend - like a sister - and though it can be tough to play singles and doubles at every tournament, if you're having fun and enjoying it, it's better.
"We're great friends. I think that's why we've won a lot this year."
Vinci has also compiled the best singles results of her career this season, highlighted by her seventh WTA title at Dallas and first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open, and cracking the world's Top 15 for the first time.
"Last year I finished No.23 in the world and this year I'm playing better and better," Vinci said. "I'm feeling really good physically and mentally, and I'm more and more confident when I play now. I will try to be in the Top 10 next year."
Vinci is getting recognized more back home since her success this year.
"They recognize me and Sara more now, they know we are the No.1 team in the world," Vinci said. "Sometimes I'm on the street and people come to me and ask for an autograph or a photo, and it's strange for me because I'm just a normal person! But everyone's really nice and maybe I'll get used to it."
No one has been happier for Vinci than her family, who might be able to make the trip to Istanbul for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012, for which Errani and Vinci were the first doubles team to qualify.
"They've been so happy for me, and they're probably coming to Istanbul for Saturday and Sunday," she said. "My father is working and so it's not easy for them to come on weekdays, but I hope they come on the weekend."
Vinci is the 30th No.1 doubles player ever on the WTA. Martina Navratilova has the most all-time weeks at the top spot with 237; five others have passed 100 weeks, namely Liezel Huber (199), Cara Black (163), Lisa Raymond (137), Natasha Zvereva (124) and Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario (111).