Caroline Wozniacki Clinches Year-End No. 1 as Maria Sharapova Withdraws

Caroline Wozniacki secured the year- end No. 1 ranking on the WTA tour for the second consecutive year, capping a tennis season in which she won six singles titles while failing to reach the final of any of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

The 21-year-old Dane clinched the top spot when second- ranked Maria Sharapova of Russia withdrew from the tour’s year- end championship round-robin tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, because of a left ankle strain, the WTA announced today on its Twitter feed.

Wozniacki has been the top-ranked women’s singles player since Oct. 11, 2010, and finished last year as the tour’s No. 1 player. She has won $2.4 million in prize money, according to the tour’s website.

“When you’ve been No. 1 pretty much the whole year, you’d like to finish the last week as No. 1,” Wozniacki said on the tour website before the Istanbul tournament. “It would mean a lot to me since not a lot of people have finished a year No. 1 two times, and especially not two times in a row.”

Wozniacki is the 10th different woman to win the year-end No. 1 ranking since 1975, and the first to take consecutive titles since Justine Henin of Belgium in 2006 and 2007, according to the WTA website. Steffi Graf of Germany captured a record eight year-end No. 1 rankings, the last in 1996.

Wozniacki reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and U.S. Open this year. In 19 career Grand Slam tournaments she has reached the final once, a straight-set loss to Kim Clijsters at the 2009 U.S. Open.

Opening Win

Wozniacki won her first match in Istanbul against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland yesterday and lost to Vera Zvonareva of Russia today. Sharapova lost her first two matches, against Samantha Stosur of Australia yesterday and Li Na of China today.

Heading into the tournament, Wozniacki could have been passed in the rankings only by Sharapova, 2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, according to the tour website. Wozniacki eliminated both Azarenka and Kvitova from a chance at the No. 1 ranking by reaching the second match of the round-robin tournament.

Marion Bartoli of France will compete in the tournament in Sharapova’s place, according to the WTA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net;

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