Jennifer's #1 Again On - 3/18/02
Capriati Will Regain No. 1 Ranking On Monday
Jennifer Capriati By Richard Pagliaro
Jennifer Capriati will recapture the No. 1 ranking when the new WTA Tour rankings are released on Monday. Though the two-time Australian Open champion did not enter this week's Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, she will rise to the top spot in the rankings as current No. 1 Venus Williams loses the points she accumulated in advancing to the 2001 Indian Wells' semifinals.
Williams — whose controversial withdrawal from her highly-anticipated semifinal showdown against sister Serena last year left disappointed fans holding non-refundable tickets, a few players charging her father, Richard, fixes the matches between the sisters and ESPN scrambling to fill the 90-minute time slot it had allocated for the match — did not enter Indian Wells. Defending champion Serena Williams is also sitting out the event.
The two-time Wimbledon winner will drop to No. 2 in the rankings. In the last six months, four different players — Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams and Capriati — have held the top spot. The revolving No. 1 ranking is indicative of the strength at the top of women's tennis.
"I just think it shows how strong women's tennis is to have the No. 1 ranking continuously to keep changing," said U.S. Fed Cup captain and former No. 1 Billie Jean King. "There, for a while, people thought Hingis had been No. 1 for too long. You had Williams, you had different people winning majors; why weren't they (rising to No. 1)? But the system does work and I think it shows now how well it does work with the rankings changing by the week."
Hingis, who plays Seles in the Indian Wells semifinals, will move up to No. 3 in the rankings, while Seles climbs from No. 9 to No. 6.
Pacific Life semifinalist Daniela Hantuchova and Emmanuelle Gagliardi will both experience a significant rise in the rankings as a result of their strong showings at Indian Wells. The 18-year-old Hantuchova will break into the top 20 for the first time in her career. She is guaranteed a ranking of No. 19. If the Australian Open doubles finalist reaches the finals she will move to No. 18 and if she wins the event over either Hingis or Seles she will move to No. 17.
Of the four Indian Wells' semifinalists, Gagliardi will make the biggest move in the rankings this week. By reaching the semifinals she guarantees herself of a move from No. 70 to a career-high No. 46. If she moves on to the final, she would go up to No. 38, and if she wins she moves up to No. 28.