BEIJING (AP) — Serena Williams reclaimed her No. 1 ranking with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the second round of the China Open on Tuesday. Williams will move to the top rankings next week by finishing better than current No. 1 Dinara Safina at the tournament. Safina lost to local wild card entry Zhang Shuai in the second round on Monday.
“It feels pretty good. I’m really excited, I guess,” Williams said. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I’m obviously happy to be there because I feel like I’ve been working so hard all year and just happy to be back.”
Safina’s loss made No. 226 Zhang the lowest-ranked woman to defeat a No. 1. Julie Coin of France was ranked 188th when she beat then-No. 1 Ana Ivanovic at the 2008 U.S. Open.
“I would like to take some break now … I’m very upset with myself,” Safina said.
Williams needed just over one hour for the victory that included three aces and one double- fault.
Williams has spent a total of 72 weeks as No. 1, including from Feb. 2 to Apr. 19 this year. The American said her focus for the rest of the year would be the WTA Tour Championships in Doha at the end of October.
“This a tough part of the year. It’s kind of toward the end and everybody’s bodies are starting to ache, you’re really fighting and you just do your best,” she said.
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