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Pregnant Serena back in world number one spot

PARIS: US tennis star Serena Williams returned to the world number one spot in the latest WTA rankings released on Monday, days after announcing her pregnancy.

The 35-year-old moved up one place during a week dedicated to Fed Cup action ahead of Germany’s Angelique Kerber with Czech Karolina Pliskova holding third spot.

Williams, one of the greatest players of all time, revealed Wednesday that she is expecting her first baby and will not play again this year.

Kelly Bush Novak, Williams’ publicist, said this week that she “looks forward to returning in 2018” and that was echoed by her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Overtaking Australia’s Margaret Court for the all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles crowns — Williams is on 23 — is also “a determining factor” in her motivation to plough on, the Frenchman said.

Williams is due to give birth in September.

Rankings

1. Serena Williams (USA) 7,010 pts (+1)

2. Angelique Kerber (GER) 6,925 (-1)

3. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 6,020

4. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 5,065

5. Simona Halep (ROM) 5,021

6. Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 4,691

7. Johanna Konta (GBR) 4,330

8. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 4,205

9. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 4,025

10. Madison Keys (USA) 3,857

11. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 3,850

12. Venus Williams (USA) 3,811

13. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 3.740

14. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 2,925 (+1)

15. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 2,900 (-1)

16. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 2,475

17. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 2,130

18. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 2,120

19. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 2,080

20. Kiki Bertens (NED) 1,988

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