Lawn Tennis
Jelena Jankovic, Rafael Nadal To Be Awarded Number One Rankings
By Anton Lagani, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 10:25pm CST USA
Jelena Jankovic, Rafael Nadal Awarded Number One Rankings
Photos by Ronald Martinez and Elsa of Getty Images
( Jankovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain both picked up enough rankings points last week to ensure their ascensions from world number two to world number one in professional tennis.

And while the two players reached the top ranking with vastly different tournament results, both have turned in consistent results over the course of the last 52 weeks of tennis.

"Getting to number one is a present for a lot of work in the past, so it's satisfying."

Jankovic capitalized on the WTA Tour's best of rankings rule where the WTA Tour takes a player's best 17 tournament results from the past 52 weeks to crown the tour's number one. Last fall Jankovic failed to win any tournament, but reached several quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds. This year Jankovic reached more quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, but has only taken one title at Rome.

Jankovic has played 23 tournaments the last 52 weeks while 5 of 7 of the top 7 players have only played 14 to 17 tournaments. That the WTA Tour only counts a player's best 17 results means Jankovic's worst 6 tournaments had no impact on her rankings as they were not counted.

Jankovic, set to become number one August 11th, has never reached a grand slam final but is one of the most consistent players of the WTA Tour. "At the moment I don't deserve that spot," Jankovic said after losing last week at the Montreal quarterfinals. She quickly released a more positive statement however.

"Since I was a young girl, it has been my dream to become No. 1 in the world. When you get older, at least one day you can say you were No. 1 and no one can take that away from you."

Rafael Nadal on the other hand made history this summer winning the French Open and Wimbledon back to back, defeating current world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland in both finals. Nadal reached the world number two spot in July of 2005 and moves to number one August 18 despite his Cincinnati semifinal loss last week to Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

Nadal is set to end Federer's 237 week run at number one.

"Getting to number one is a present for a lot of work in the past," Nadal said, "so it's satisfying."

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