For the first 21 years of the official WTA rankings, only four women finished the year as the No. 1 player in the world: Chris Evert (1975-77, 1980-81), Martina Navratilova (1978-79, 1982-86), Steffi Graf (1987-1990, 1993-96) and Monica Seles (1991-92, 1995). My, how times have changed.
This year, Caroline Wozniacki will become the fourth woman in the past four years to finish at the top spot. The 20-year-old Dane clinched the No. 1 ranking with a victory over Francesca Schiavone at the WTA Championships in Doha. She succeeds Serena Williams (2009), Jelena Jankovic (2008) and Justin Henin (2007). Since 2000, Wozniacki is the sixth woman to finish at No. 1.
The big turnover at the top is attributable, in large part, to a different rankings system that only focuses on results from the previous year. But it also shines a light on the fact that there are no more Chrissies, Martinas or Steffis in the women's game. Serena has just as much talent as those women, but she plays in far too few events and goes through periods of disinterest, thus allowing other players to ascend to the top spot.
Wozniacki becomes the second woman to finish the year at No. 1 without having won a Grand Slam.