Tennis: Top five women’s singles players with longest first-time weeks-streak as World No. 1
Aryna Sabalenka is set to take the top spot next week replacing Iga Swiatek.
Iga Swiatek’s reign as the World No.1 tennis player in the women’s singles category finally comes to an end. Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will be the new top-ranked player according to the WTA Rankings – which will be updated on 11 September 2023 after the US Open. The 25-year-old will take over the No.1 rank due to the fourth-round elimination of Swiatek at the final Grand Slam of the year.
Iga Swiatek’s reign as the World No.1 tennis player in women’s singles was iconic for various reasons. It was the first time she had reached the pinnacle of women’s singles rankings and stayed at the top for multiple weeks. Now, Aryna Sabalenka takes over the spot and becomes only the eighth player in the Open Era to hold the World No.1 rank in both singles and doubles categories.
With Iga Swiatek’s stint as the top-ranked athlete in WTA Rankings finally coming to an end, here is a look at where she ranks amongst the top five women’s singles players with the longest first-time weeks-streak at World No.1:
5. Martina Navratilova – 26 weeks
Martina Navratilova, regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, stayed at the No.1 rank for a consecutive 26 weeks. This makes her streak the fifth longest in terms of longest first-time weeks at the top rank.
The former women’s player is popular for winning a combined total of 59 major titles, the most in the Open Era. In total, she stayed at the World No.1 position for 332 weeks.
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4. Serena Williams – 57 weeks
Serena Williams is regarded as one of the finest tennis athletes to come from the United States of America. The powerful baseliner stayed at the World No.1 rank for a total of 57 weeks during her first stint. The 23-time Grand Slam champion stayed at the top of women’s singles rankings for a total of 319 weeks. She retired from professional tennis in September 2022.
3. Iga Swiatek – 75 weeks
Iga Swiatek from Poland stayed at the top of the WTA Rankings for women’s singles for 75 weeks. This makes her feat the third-longest first-time week streak. Unfortunately for the Polish star, losing in the fourth round of the US Open came as a shock and one that saw her lose her rank to Aryna Sabalenka.
Iga Swiatek is only 22 years old and already a four-time Grand Slam champion. She has three French Open and one US Open title under her belt.
2. Martina Hingis – 80 weeks
Martina Hingis stayed at the pole position for 80 weeks when she got there for the first time in her career. The five-time Grand Slam singles champion also stayed at the World No.1 rank for a total of 209 weeks. In the doubles category, she stayed at the top rank for 90 weeks and for 29 weeks, she held the No.1 rank in both singles and doubles simultaneously.
Martina Hingis won 20 Grand Slam titles in both women’s doubles and mixed doubles combined. The Swiss legend is hailed as one of the most exquisite tennis players of her generation.
1. Steffi Graf – 186 weeks
Steffi Graf’s record for the longest first-time week streak is simply outrageous. She stayed at the World No.1 position for a total of 186 weeks on her first time. In total, she stayed at the top for a record 377 weeks.
Steffi Graf won 22 major titles during her career in women’s singles, the second-most since the Open Era began in 1968. With a career record of 900–115 (88.7%) in singles, one can safely say that Graf is one of the greatest tennis players of all time.