Serena Williams has cemented a sensational season by ensuring she will finish an awesome 2013 at the top of the WTA rankings for the third time in her career.
The American joins Justine Henin and Martina Hingis as a three-time year-end number one, with only Steffi Graf (8), Martina Navratilova (7), Chris Evert (5), and Lindsay Davenport (4) ahead of her in the history books.
The 32-year-old, who became the oldest player to secure top spot when she returned to number one in February, has won more than $9 million in prize money so far this season, with an incredible record of 67-4 on the WTA Tour.
As well as winning seven tour titles, Serena also justified her favourite odds on Betfair to clinch the French and US Open titles, taking her collection to 55 singles crown with 22 doubles titles.
“Serena has proven time and time again throughout her career that she is an incredible champion, both on and off the court,” WTA chairperson, Stacey Allaster, admitted. “This season she continues to rewrite the record books, proving she is one of the sport’s greatest athletes of all time.”
Williams will be presented with her trophy during the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul this month.
Joining Williams in Turkey will be China’s Li Na, who became the fifth player to qualify for the year-ending event, following in the footsteps of Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, and Agnieszka Radwanska.
With 17 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, Williams is only one title behind Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert on 18, and Serena has to now be targeting the record of 24 Grand Slams held by Margaret Court and cementing herself as the game’s greatest player.