Serena Williams will next week find herself top of the rankings in both singles and doubles, joining an elite group of players to have achieved such a feat.
Serena and her sister Venus clinched the No. 1 ranking in doubles by winning their French Open semifinal against Liezel Huber and Anabel Medina Garrigues, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
That victory came hours after Serena was eliminated in the quarterfinal of singles by Australia's Samantha Stosur.
"To be No. 1 in singles and doubles simultaneously is such a great moment, something that I wouldn't have imagined," Williams said. "It took a lot of hard work and was not easy for us to get to the top, and I hope we can hold onto this accomplishment for a long time."
Serena will become the sixth woman to hold the No. 1 ranking in singles and doubles simultaneously, and the first to do so since Kim Clijsters in 2003. The group also includes Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport.
Navratilova, diagnosed this year with a noninvasive form of breast cancer, teamed up with Jana Novotna in legends doubles Wednesday to beat Mary Joe Fernandez and Conchita Martinez, 6-1, 6-2. The Williams sisters have never previously led the doubles rankings.
"It's an achievement that I never thought would happen," Venus said. "To clinch No. 1 in singles and doubles is an honor, and to be able to achieve it in doubles with my sister is just wonderful." The sisters won their only French Open doubles title in 1999. They are seeking their 12th Grand Slam doubles title together and fourth in a row.
The match against Huber and Medina Garrigues featured plenty of point-blank exchanges. "They were going at us," Serena said. "We had to defend ourselves out there. Finally we got a little used to the pace and were able to play a little bit better." AP