It's official - with the new WTA Rankings for the week of October 13, 2014, Serena Williams will spend her 210th career week as the No.1 player in the world, passing Martina Hingis for fourth all-time.
Williams, who is currently in the longest stint of her career at No.1 - this is her 87th straight week - now trails only Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert in career weeks at No.1. And it's not the first time she's been grouped with those three WTA legends - she won her 18th Grand Slam title at the US Open a month ago, tying her with Navratilova and Evert for second-most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era (Graf holds the record for most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era with a whopping 22).
Williams has spent her 210 weeks at the top in six stints:
July 8, 2002 to August 10, 2003 (57 weeks)
September 8 to October 5, 2008 (4 weeks)
February 2 to April 19, 2009 (11 weeks)
October 12 to October 25, 2009 (2 weeks)
November 2, 2009 to October 10, 2010 (49 weeks)
February 18, 2013 to present (this week is 87th straight week)
Williams and Hingis played 13 times on the WTA in a four year span between Miami in 1998 and Miami in 2002, with Williams leading the head-to-head series, 7-6. Hingis dominated their early meetings (she won three of their first four) while Williams dominated their later ones (she won their last three).
Perhaps surprisingly they only played three times at Grand Slams, Williams leading those, 2-1:
1999 US Open F - S.Williams d. Hingis, 6-3, 7-6(4)
~ For years Williams was known as one of the most dangerous players on the tour, but it wasn't until the 1999 US Open when she finally broke through at one of the big four, rallying from 5-3 down in the third set to beat future rival Kim Clijsters in the third round and then grinding through another three three-setters against Conchita Martínez, Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport to make her first Grand Slam final. There she would edge fellow phenom Martina Hingis for a fairytale first major.
2001 Australian Open QFs - Hingis d. S.Williams, 6-2, 3-6, 8-6
~ Hingis' run of Australian Open finals was under serious threat in the 2001 quarterfinals as midway through the match she totally lost the momentum against Williams, dropping the second set and falling behind 4-1 in the third. Williams even served for the match at 5-4 - but Hingis hung in there and snuck it out, and even beat Venus Williams in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-1. Only two other times has anyone beat both Williams sisters at a Grand Slam - Justine Henin did it once, Kim Clijsters once as well.
2001 US Open SFs - S.Williams d. Hingis, 6-3, 6-2
~ Sporting a bright yellow and black outfit, with matching blonde hair, Williams came out as fierce as a tiger, swinging freely and blasting winners from every wing. She would cruise past Hingis that day, setting up a prime time championship clash with her sister, Venus Williams - the first time in 117 years that two sisters would play each other for a Grand Slam title. Big sister would win that day, but little sister has ended up with the upper hand in the head-to-head in Grand Slam finals...