Serena Williams, who announced last week that she is pregnant and will not play the rest of 2017, reclaimed the No. 1 ranking on the WTA tour on Monday.
Williams took the top ranking from Angelique Kerber, who first became No. 1 after winning the U.S. Open last September. The American supplanted her earlier this year, in late January, after triumphing at the Australian Open for her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title, but Kerber returned to the top spot on March 20.
Williams played just two tournaments—Auckland and Melbourne—in 2017, winning eight of nine matches and her seventh Australian Open. She pulled out of Indian Wells and Miami, citing a left knee injury, before announcing her pregnancy in a Snapchat post this past Wednesday.
My Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn’t know I had. You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to join the players box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you.... once again today. On @alexisohanian bday. from the world's oldest number one to the world's youngest number one. -Your Mommy
The 35-year-old’s spokeswoman, Kelly Bush Novak, said that Williams intends to return to the court in 2018.
Kerber, a year after a breakthrough campaign in which she won two Grand Slam titles, has struggled for consistency in 2017 and hardly played like a world No. 1. Just 17-9 on the season, the 29-year-old hasn’t won a title in eight tournaments and has reached just one final.
Williams (7,010 points) currently leads Kerber (6,925) by 85 points, with world No. 3 Karolina Pliskova (6,020) trailing Serena by 990 points. No. 4 Dominika Cibulkova (5,065) and No. 5 Simona Halep (5,021) round out the Top 5.