Already considered by many to be the world's best women's tennis player, Serena Williams will now have the ranking to back up that lofty claim. According to the WTA's official Twitter feed, Williams will regain the world No. 1 ranking following this week's Qatar Open following her defeat of Petra Kvitova on Friday:
New World No.1! @SerenaWilliams fights back from 14 down in the 3rd to beat Petra Kvitova 36 63 75 & will become World No. 1 on Monday! #WTA2/15/2013, 6:21:23 PM
Though Williams regaining the No. 1 ranking would not be especially notable under normal circumstances, this is no regular ascent. According to Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline Twitter feed, Williams, 31, will become the oldest top-ranked player in WTA history:
SI Tennis @SI_Tennis
Oldest No. 1 in WTA history. But, you know, she's so over it. RT @nidssserz "Serena is #1". Yes you are. http://t.co/bWxB95om2/15/2013, 6:30:41 PM
Following the match, Williams tweeted out her gratitude to her supporters, saying it "feels so good" to be back at No. 1:
Serena Williams @serenawilliams
Thanks everyone for all the support. Back to number one. #1 and it feels so good. Serena #12/15/2013, 6:45:52 PM
This will mark the first time in a little over two years that Williams has held the top spot. She lost her seat atop the women's tennis world to Caroline Wozniacki late in an injury-plagued 2010 season.
Williams' ranking has ebbed and flowed throughout her career, but many saw her struggles with injury in 2010 and 2011 as a possible endpoint to her spot on the throne.
However, last season saw Williams return to a prime-level dominance. She won a WTA-best seven calendar titles in 2012, including back-to-back Grand Slam championships at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open to finish off her season. She also came away with her first Olympic gold medal in singles competition at the 2012 Games in London, her fourth overall gold.
That fantastic season led to Williams winning the WTA Player of the Year Award and finishing 2012 as the third-ranked player in the world.
Though we're extremely early in the 2013 campaign, Williams hasn't showed any signs of slowing down. She won the season's first tournament at the Brisbane International and reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open before losing to Sloane Stephens, thanks in part to a cringe-worthy ankle injury.
With her ankle healed and the Qatar Open field seemingly at her mercy, Williams has once again looked like the most dominant player in the world. Now the rankings just reflect what we've all been seeing on the tennis court.