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Serena Williams Takes No. 1 Ranking

July 4, 2002

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WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ Serena Williams has already won one battle against sister Venus before Saturday’s Wimbledon final _ for the No. 1 ranking.

Serena’s 6-2, 6-1 semifinal win over Amelie Mauresmo on Thursday pushed her to the top of the WTA Tour rankings, relegating Venus to the No. 2 spot.

The sisters will meet in the final Saturday, their third Grand Slam title matchup in 10 months. Since Venus is defending her Wimbledon title, Serena will be No. 1 regardless of the result.

Serena, who won the French Open last month, said she didn’t realize until Thursday that she could go to No. 1.

``At the French, I was actually a little nervous about being No. 2,″ she said. ``No one said anything to me, so I wasn’t really looking at the points.

``I just thought I was a little farther behind. I was really excited. Shed a few little tears. I’m a real emotional person. It’s just been a goal of mine. It feels really great.″

Serena said she hadn’t spoken with Venus about the rankings but was determined to win her first Wimbledon title.

``Just because I’m No. 1 doesn’t mean that I don’t want to win Wimbledon,″ she said. ``I’d rather win Wimbledon right now because maybe the ranking would come later on.″

Venus became No. 1 for the first time on Feb. 25, taking the top spot from Jennifer Capriati. She’s held it three times since then, each time switching with Capriati. Serena will take over the No. 1 ranking officially on Monday.

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