Serena Williams will return to the top of the women's world tennis rankings after the Qatar Open, where she defeated former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, in Friday quarterfinals.
When the new rankings are released Monday, the 31-year-old Williams will become the oldest top-ranked women's tennis player in history when she surpasses Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Williams last held the top ranking in October 2010.
Previously, Chris Evert was the oldest to hold the No. 1 ranking when she was 30 in 1985.
“I never thought I would be here again,” said Williams, the 2010 U.S. Open champion who struggled in 2011 after cutting her foot at a restaurant and later dealing with blood clots in her lungs. “Oh my gosh, I've been through so much. I never thought I would be here.”
The victory was a struggle for Williams, who has been hampered by a sore right ankle that she injured at the Australian Open last month.