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Tennis: Iga Swiatek takes over as world No. 1, Naomi Osaka jumps 42 spots

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Tennis: Iga Swiatek takes over as world No. 1, Naomi Osaka jumps 42 spots

Iga Swiatek from Poland reacts after her win over Naomi Osaka from Japan in the women’s singles final at the Miami Open on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, April 4 (UPI) — Poland’s Iga Swiatek rose to the top spot, while Japan’s Naomi Osaka climbed from No. 77 to No. 35 in the latest edition of the Women’s Tennis Association world rankings, released Monday.

Swiatek, who was No. 2 last week, took over the top spot due to Ash Barty’s recent retirement from the sport. Swiatek also boosted her ranking with a victory over Osaka in the 2022 Miami Open singles final Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla.

“It’s official today and I want to give myself, my family, my team, and partners a moment to celebrate it and to be happy about it,” Swiatek wrote Monday on social media. “I usually don’t focus on numbers, on rankings, but this moment is huge to me as I have become the first Polish, female or male, tennis player to reach the top spot in singles.

“I hope maybe one day there will be more of us in Poland playing tennis at the highest possible level. I’m extremely grateful that my work could be an inspiration for some people. And last but not least, I love the game and appreciate every moment of it these days.”

Swiatek beat Osaka 6-4, 6-0 in the Miami Open women’s singles finale at Hard Rock Stadium. The match was Osaka’s first appearance in a tournament final since her win at the 2021 Australian Open.

Swiatek is on a 17-match winning streak, which includes three-consecutive WTA 1000 event titles.

“I just feel really satisfied and fulfilled and also proud of myself,” Swiatek told reporters Saturday. “I feel like I have got to celebrate, because I don’t know how long I can keep up with this streak.

“But it’s pretty weird, because I got used to losing, and I kind of accepted that in tennis that you are going to lose more tournaments than win, so it’s pretty weird.”

Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, Paula Badosa of Spain, Maria Sakkari of Greece and Aryna Sabalenka of Russia join Swiatek in the Top 5 of the WTA rankings.

No. 8 Danielle Collins, who jumped into the Top 10, No. 13 Jessica Pegula and No. 15 Coco Gauff are the top-ranked American women. No. 24 Madison Keys, No. 36 Sloane Stephens, No. 43 Alison Riske, No. 44 Shelby Rogers and No. 47 Amanda Anisimova are the other Americans inside the Top 50.

Serena Williams, who last played at Wimbledon 2021, is No. 246 in the world.

On the men’s side, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz beat Norway’s Casper Ruud in the men’s singles final Sunday at the Miami Open. Alcaraz jumped to the No. 11 spot in the ATP rankings. Ruud moved from No. 8 to No. 7.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic remains the top men’s player, followed by Russian Daniil Medvedev, German Alexander Zverev and Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, Matteo Berrettini of Italy, Ruud, Andrey Rublev of Russia, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie round out the men’s Top 10.

No. 13 Taylor Fritz, No. 18 Reilly Opelka, No. 27 John Isner and No. 30 Frances Tiafoe are the top-ranked American men. Americans Tommy Paul, Jenson Brooksby and Sebastian Korda also rank inside the Top 50.

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