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Top 5 youngest players to become World No.1 in WTA rankings

Well, the youngest player to ever achieve the top position on the WTA ranking ladder was only 16 years and 3 months old at that time being.

5 youngest players to become World No.1 in WTA rankings

Earning the World No. 1 ranking and sitting on the top of the WTA Rankings ladder is one of tennis’ most prestigious achievements. Over the years, there are many players who have added the prestigious ranking under their belt but there are few who have done it at a very young age. In view of that, in this article, we shall be talking about the 5 Youngest players to become World No.1 in WTA Rankings

#5. Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

Whenever we hear a high pitched grunt on the Tennis court, the person who pops up in our mind is Maria Sharapova. Did you know that, in addition to holding the record for the loudest grunt, Sharapova is also one of the youngest players to achieve the top ranking? Well, she’s the fifth-youngest No. 1 in WTA history. She was 18 years and 4 months old when she first rose to the top spot on August 22, 2005. She is also one of the youngest Grand Slam champions. At the early age of 17, the teenager faced two-time defending champion and World No. 1, Serena Williams. She earned her first Grand Slam title by defeating the American 6-1, 6-4. As a result, Ma-Sha’s name will live on in history and in our hearts forever. 

#4. Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf

Honestly, our list can’t be completed without her. Steffi Graf is a name to reckon with in the world of tennis. Often regarded as the greatest of all time, there might not be a lot of records in the book that the champion player hasn’t broken. Winner of as many as 22 Grand Slam titles, Steffi’s presence was enough to send shivers down the spine of her opponents. Steffi’s versatility and dominance across different surfaces made her the fan favourite. The extent of the German tennis star’s dominance can be gauged by the fact that she became the world No 1 in the WTA Rankings for the first time at the age of 18 years and 2 months, in 1987. Not only did the ‘Fraulein forehand’ end Martina Navratilova’s record-breaking 332-week reign, but she was also the first player other than the Navratilova-Evert duo to occupy the number one slot since Tracy Austin in 1980 — more than seven years earlier.

#3. Tracy Austin

Tracy Austin

Tracy Austin may be unfamiliar to tennis fans nowadays, yet she was once regarded as a tennis prodigy. However, it is reasonable to say that she did bring justice to her moniker as she won the US Open at such a tender age and climbed to No. 1 in the WTA rankings when she was only 17 years and 3 months old. It was significant at the time but even more so in retrospect, as the future International Tennis Hall Of Fame inductee became the only player to crash the Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova party at the top between May 10, 1976, and August 16, 1987, a record that was later broken by the 2nd player in our list. 

#2. Monica Seles

Monica Seles

Few players, if any, were better than Monica Seles between the ages of 16 to 19. Monica Seles, one of the most accomplished players in tennis history, rose to No. 1 for the first time on the WTA rankings. As a result, she ended Steffi Graf’s 186-week stint atop the WTA rankings. The 17 years and 3 months old Yugoslavian had only been on tour full-time since 1989, and she was the youngest player to reach world No. 1 at the time — a year after becoming the youngest-ever Roland-Garros champion.

#1. Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

This puts us at the top of the list. Martina Hingis holds the record for being the youngest Grand Slam winner and the youngest player to become World No.1 in WTA rankings Well, if it wasn’t her, who else would it be? The Swiss defeated former world No. 3 Mary Pierce in the final of the Australian Open in 1997 when she was just 16 years and 3 months old. The teenager’s efficiency en route to her first Grand Slam victory was perhaps the most remarkable element of her triumph. Her achievements, however, knows no limits, as she went on to become the youngest player to ever reach the WTA World No. 1 position shortly afterwards. Besides this, she demonstrated to be a fantastic doubles player as well.

Also Read: ‘I never really imagined,’ Iga Swiatek scripts history by becoming Poland’s first-ever World No.1 in tennis