So Kim Clijsters has regained the world No.1 ranking. Fantastic! It’s been almost five years since she last held the top spot in women’s tennis. This will be her 20th week at the top of the ladder and it’s also good...
So Kim Clijsters has regained the world No.1 ranking. Fantastic! It’s been almost five years since she last held the top spot in women’s tennis. This will be her 20th week at the top of the ladder and it’s also good to see that a Grand Slam champion is back in the hot seat. It’s a great effort on Kim’s part to get back there. “I am happy to regain the No.1 ranking,” Clijsters said. “I’m proud that I have achieved this in my second career and as a mum.” Caroline Wozniacki is relinquishing the place after holding it for 18 weeks which was a great effort. There is no doubt she has been consistent, but being a Grand Slam winner is what it’s all about. Now don’t go jumping down my throat with the last comment. It’s no reflection on Wozniacki but instead the system. As I have said in the past the WTA needs to re-examine the structure of their rankings so that there is more reflection on the four most important championships in the world. Ask a player what they would rather have, the number one ranking or a Grand Slam title and more often than not they will say a Grand Slam title. You win those and the ranking will take care of itself. Most top players will tell you it’s great to be No.1 but then it’s a case of “been there, done that”. However they never tire over winning one of the four majors – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. From Ivan Lendl and Stephanie Graf to Rafael Nadal, the focus has been on winning any or all of the four big. Nadal cried after he went out of the Australian Open in January. He failed to achieve something that no male player had done since Rod Laver in 1969; holding all four majors at the same time. Do you think he’d cry if he slipped from the No.1 spot? NOT! If a player has not won a major and reaches the No.1 ranking of course they are going to say that’s the most important thing to them. How could you expect anything else in an answer? But ask them after they’ve won a Slam which is a bigger deal and more than likely the response will be different. In the last two and a half years three women players have reached the top without winning a major – Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina and Wozniacki. Not one man has got there without winning a Grand Slam title. Ironically in 2003 when Clijsters reached No.1 she had not won a major. Her first major was the 2005 US Open but in 2003 she had reached two Slam finals and then made the Australian final in 2004. Wozniacki’s only Slam final has been the 2009 US Open and since then hasn’t ventured past the semis. Jankovic made the US Open final in 2008 and since then has only made one Slam semi while Safina who was No.1 for 25 weeks in 2009 did reach back-to-back finals at majors during that time but didn’t pick up the bigger silverware. Since then she’s crashed out in the first round of her last three Slam events. And yet in 2010 Serena Williams won the Australian Open and Wimbledon and made the quarters of the French (couldn’t play the US Open because of injury) and she ended the year at No.4. Go figure!