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Women's Tennis: Caroline Wozniacki Back at No. 1

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 18:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates returning to the Women's number 1 rank with some flowers during day five of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on February 18, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
AndersCorrespondent IIIFebruary 18, 2011

It took Kim Clijsters 256 weeks to claw the No. 1 ranking back from when she lost it in 2006, but it took only one week to lose it again. 

By beating Shahar Peer in straight sets in Dubai, 20-year-old Caroline Wozniacki, the "No. 1 without a Slam" as detractors call her, is once again atop the WTA rankings. 

While Clijsters just got her 20th week at No. 1, Wozniacki will now begin her 19th and equal Clijsters by the 28th of February. The next chance of switching positions comes at the American hard court swing in Indian Wells and Miami, both in March.

Both players maintain that the ranking isn't that important to them. In fact, Wozniacki, in her matter-of-fact fashion, suggested that people might stop asking her how she can be No. 1 without having won a Slam.

With her return to the top spot, those questions are likely to continue.

Few people would question Clijsters' legitimacy at the top spot. After all, she's won the three most important tournaments in the last seven months (the US Open, the year-end Championship and Dubai) and dominated against the top 10 like no other player in the last year.

While Wozniacki's résumé is impressive, she cannot boast of similarly grand victories. Her biggest one to date came in the mandatory Premier in Beijing last fall. But, and this is an important "but", she won more matches and more tournaments than any other player last year.

Peter Bodo suggested this week, that the whole notion of being a legitimate No. 1 most likely has loads to do with the way both Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic failed once they reached the position. Wozniacki is younger and mentally much more stellar.

She might not be the best player just yet, but she's had the most consistent results over the last year, and with the way the rankings system works, this is just enough to top a double Slam winner and year-end champion.

Is it Wozniacki's fault?

By no means.

Is it her problem? Only if we keep banging her up because of it.

As a side note, isn't is mightily impressive to earn that many points without even reaching a Grand Slam final, where the big points are gained? It certainly shows consistency. 

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