Jelena Jankovic highly likely to finish the year as No.1

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Jelena Jankovic is currently the top-ranked women’s tennis player in the world, for a second week in succession, and judging by the present situation, she’ll most probably keep that prestigious spot until the end of this year regardless of results to come.

The 23-year-old Serb first reached the No.1 spot in August, but, disappointingly, occupied it for only one week. However, Jankovic proved she deserves to be top-ranked without a doubt when she won three straight singles titles (Beijing, Stuttgart, and Moscow).

Jankovic has built enough of a lead on her rivals, and is now expected to hold the No.1 position for much longer. Still, the projection that she’ll ride out of the year as No.1 is based on a couple of assumptions.

  • The first one is that Dinara Safina, who rose to a career high ranking of No.2 this week, doesn’t enter tournaments in Luxembourg, Linz or Québec City in the next couple of weeks. The 22-year-old Russian hasn’t formally signed up for any of these events, and would need to be granted a wildcard to compete.
  • Serena Williams also has a chance of snatching the No.1 spot at the finish line. However, the third-ranked American is recuperating from an ankle injury sustained at Stuttgart and, like Safina, is not expected to compete before the Sony Ericsson Championships at Doha.

In addition, Jankovic didn’t win a match at last year’s Sony Ericsson Championships and therefore isn’t defending big points.

In terms of her standing on the league table of all-time No.1s, Jankovic has already passed Evonne Goolagong, who made it to No.1 on April 26, 1976 and was there for two weeks. All things being equal, by the end of calendar 2008 Jankovic will have been No.1 for a total of 14 weeks, leapfrogging Venus Williams (11 weeks), Ana Ivanovic (12 weeks) and Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario (12 weeks). (source: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour)


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