MELBOURNE, Australia - Roger Federer will become the 23rd man to hold tennis’ top spot when the new rankings are released Monday. He is the first Swiss man to be No. 1.
Justine Henin-Hardenne will keep the top ranking among the women after beating Belgian countrywoman Kim Clijsters in the final. Clijsters, still without a Grand Slam title, will hold the No. 2 ranking.
Federer, who beat Marat Safin in the Australian Open final Sunday, had been No. 2. U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick, who was ranked No. 1 going into the season’s first major, will slip to third after losing to Safin in the quarterfinals.
Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero, who could have become No. 1 if he had won at Melbourne, will move up one spot to second. Andre Agassi, the 2003 Australian Open champion, will drop one spot to fifth after losing in the semifinals to Safin. He switches places with Argentina’s Guillermo Coria.
Safin, a former top-ranked player and winner of the 2000 U.S. Open, will make by far the biggest jump, from 86th to the low 30s, the ATP said. His ranking had slipped last year as he struggled with wrist injuries, losing his last six matches of 2003.
Also making a jump will be Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan, who is expected to go from No. 15 to No. 10. He reached a high of No. 9 last May.
On the women’s side, France’s Amelie Mauresmo, who pulled out of her quarterfinal with a back injury, will rise to third. She will switch places with Serena Williams, who was unable to defend her Australian Open title while recuperating from knee surgery.
Her sister, Venus, returned from an abdominal injury at the Australian Open but was beaten in the third round and will slip from 11th to 14th. She had been seeded third at Melbourne Park, largely because she made it to last year’s final.
Jennifer Capriati missed the tournament but will rise to fifth, switching places with Lindsay Davenport.
Switzerland’s Patty Schnyder, who reached the semifinals before losing to Clijsters, will rise from 26th to 15th. She reached as high as eighth in 1999.
After 16 consecutive years of always showing up at Wimbledon, winning five titles along the way, Venus Williams pulled out of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament Tuesday, citing a lower back injury.
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