Angelique Kerber Reclaims Top Spot From Serena Williams, Roger Federer Improves to Sixth in the Rankings

By Teddy Cecilio, Posted: 03/21/17 08:30AM EDT
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Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber plays a backhand against Pauline Parmentier of France.(Photo : Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Angelique Kerber regained the No. 1 spot in the WTA rankings after Serena Williams' recent withdrawal from the BNP Paribas Open. Kerber moved atop the rankings on Monday, six months after she originally ascended to No. 1 for the first time for winning the U.S. Open, which ended Williams' 186-week reign.

Williams reclaimed the top spot in late January when she won the Australian Open for her 23rd Grand Slam title. However, Williams has not played since then because of an injured left knee. She sat out the Indian Wells tournament that ended Sunday and will miss the Miami Open that is scheduled to start on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Kerber is assured of staying at No. 1 at least for the next two weeks, which would give her a total of 22 weeks. That moves her past Maria Sharapova, Tracy Austin and Kim Clijsters for 13th on the all-time WTA list. Steffi Graf holds the record of 377 weeks.

Kerber was expected to replace Williams at the top of the rankings regardless of her performance in Indian Wells. The German reached the fourth round, but fell to eventual champion Elena Vesnina.

For winning the BNP Paribas Open, Vesnina improved to a career-high 13th spot. She defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final of the event. Kuznetsova rose a spot to seventh, leapfrogging Agnieszka Radwanska, who fell two places.

Dominika Cibulkova moved up a place to 4th in the rankings, displacing Simona Halep, while Garbiñe Muguruza improved to sixth from seventh. Karolina Pliskova remained third, and Halep dropped to fifth, Madison Keys kept the ninth spot and Elina Svitolina stayed 10th in the rankings.

On the men's side, Roger Federer improved four places to No. 6 after winning his 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open. Federer defeated Stan Wawrinka for his fifth title in Indian Wells.

Andy Murray of Great Britain remained No. 1 with 12,005 ATP points, while Novak Djokovic was a far second with 8,915 points. Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also made it into the top 10.



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