Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Serena soars in rankings


Serena Williams celebrates winning the Australian Open women's singles title in Melbourne on Saturday. Williams is now ranked No. 2 by the WTA.


Serena Williams became the first woman to move into the No. 2 ranking from outside the top five in a single tournament by winning the Australian Open.

Williams moved up five places from No. 7 in the WTA Tour tennis rankings, released yesterday, with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over top-ranked Lindsay Davenport in Saturday's women's final.

Roger Federer retained No. 1 position in the men's rankings despite losing in the semifinals of the Australian Open, while Lleyton Hewitt overtook Andy Roddick for second place after reaching the final.

Russia's newest Grand Slam champion, Marat Safin, retained fourth place in the men's rankings after beating Hewitt in Sunday's championship match.

Russia's two other female Grand Slam holders, French Open champion Anastasia Myskina and US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, slipped in the rankings. Myskina dropped from third to fifth and Kuznetsova, beaten by Sharapova in the quarterfinals, fell one place to sixth.

Australia's Alicia Molik made the top 10 for the first time after beating Venus Williams in the fourth round and losing to Davenport in the quarterfinals. The biggest mover was Nathalie Dechy, who jumped from 25th to 13th by making the semifinals in Melbourne, where she eventually lost to Davenport.

Federer, who beat Safin in the 2004 Australian Open final ,retained the lead in the men's rankings.

Lleyton Hewitt proposed to his girlfriend, Rebecca Cartwright, an actress, following his defeat in the Australian Open tennis final, the couple said in a statement yesterday.

The couple's agents confirmed the engagement.

"Stephen Harmon from Encompass Management and Justine Cohen from Octagon confirmed Lleyton Hewitt and Bec Cartwright's engagement following the Australian Open finals," a statement said.

"Lleyton and Bec met five years ago at a Starlight Foundation charity tennis day and rekindled their relationship late last year."

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