Fourteen years ago today... Venus Williams achieved the No.1 ranking for the first time, becoming the first African American tennis player - male or female - to claim the top spot.
WTA Staff

PALM BEACH GARDENS, USA - It had been building for a few years - she won her first two Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2000, and then repeated at both in 2001 - but it all came together for the first time as Venus Williams finally got to No.1 fourteen years ago today in February 25, 2002.

After a 12-month period that saw her win 56 of 61 matches and nine titles - Miami, Hamburg, Wimbledon, San Diego, New Haven and the US Open in 2001, and Gold Coast, Paris and Antwerp in 2002 - Williams rose from No.2 to No.1 on February 25, 2002, overtaking Jennifer Capriati.

Venus Williams

She became the 11th player to hold the top spot on the WTA computer rankings, but the achievement was even more special as Williams was also the first ever African-American player - male or female - to rank No.1 in the world in tennis.

"When you're on a professional tour, you don't aspire to be No. 3 or No. 2," Williams said 14 years ago when asked about the milestone. "Normally you do your best to become the best. At this point, I am the best in the world, so that's exciting and it's going to be mine at least a week."

"I think the best part is that I've enjoyed myself along the way and that I have not limited myself just to playing tennis or made myself believe that that's the only thing in life. I've always been doing things at the same time and having a career. For me, that's the best part."

She would eventually spend a total of non-consecutive 11 weeks at the top spot in 2002 and claim a whopping 49 WTA singles titles to date in her career, including the Taiwan Open earlier this year.

Venus Williams

A few more throwbacks to February 25, 2002...
No.1 song on Billboard Hot 100 singles: Always On Time by Ja Rule & Ashanti
No.1 album on Billboard 200 albums: J To Tha L-O!: The Remixes by Jennifer Lopez
No.1 movie at US Box Office: Queen Of The Damned
No.1 men's tennis player: Lleyton Hewitt