Tennis: Serena to Finish 2014 as No. 1 for a 4th Career Time

Serena Williams will end the year 2014 as world number one for the fourth time in her career and for the second year in a row by virtue of Friday’s results at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

The American, 33, who also finished a season at No.1 in 2002, 2009, and 2013, though was not in action on Friday having played all three of her round robin matches between Monday and Thursday with a 2-1 win-loss record.

Russia’s Maria Sharapova had a slim chance of piping the 18-time Grand Slam champion to the year-end World No. 1 ranking prior to Friday, but needed to win the season-end title and for the top seed to lose before the final. Neverless, she needed to reach the semi-finals via straight sets win over Agnieszka Radwanska in her final group stage match on Friday, and for Serbia’s Caroline Wozniaki to beat Czech’s Petra Kvitova in straight sets too.

Serena Williams Won Only One Grand Slam in 2014: The US Open. Image: Twitter @ChinaOpen.
Serena Williams Won Only One Grand Slam in 2014: The US Open. Image: Twitter @ChinaOpen.

Alas, the second seed French Open champion did beat Radwanska, but watched a 7-5 5-1 lead fizzle out in the second set, after the Pole fended off three match points to stop her from reaching her goal 7-5 6-7(4). She did close out the third set 6-2, but dropping a set to Radwanska cost her progress to the semi-finals and a maiden year-end World No. 1 ranking.

Williams, thus ties Lindsay Davenport- the pair having finished No. 1 four times- in becoming the fifth player in WTA history to finish the year at the summit of the ranking four times or more. Steffi Graf (eight times), Martina Navratilova (seven times), Chris Evert (five times).