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Tennis

Serena Williams claims year-end world number one in women's tennis

US tennis star Serena Williams has clinched the year-end women’s world number one ranking for the third time in her career. Williams is the oldest female player to earn the top ranking.

Serena Williams has secured the year-end world number one ranking, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said in a statement Friday. She has held the title twice before in 2002 and 2009.

The American has earned a 67-4 record this season and won nine singles titles on the WTA Tour, including the French Open and the US Open crowns. She has a career total of 55 titles with 17 major wins.

She joins Justine Henin and Martina Hingis as a three-time year-end number one, with Steffi Graf (8), Martina Navratilova (7), Chris Evert (5) and Lindsay Davenport (4) ahead of her.

When she initially became number one again in February, the 32-year-old became the oldest women's player to clinch the top ranking.

Williams also became the first woman to surpass $9 million (6.6 million euros) in prize money in a single season, the WTA said in a statement Friday.

"Serena has proven time and time again throughout her career that she is an incredible champion, both on and off the court," said WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a statement.

"This season she continues to rewrite the record books, proving that she is one of the sport's greatest athletes of all-time," she said.

On Monday, Williams will have held the top position for a total of 156 weeks, the WTA said.

Williams will be presented with her world number one trophy during the WTA Championships in Istanbul next month.

hc/rg (Reuters, AFP)