Wozniacki defends No. 1 ranking, wins sixth title of year

Can we stop all the talk about how Caroline Wozniacki isn't a deserving No. 1?

The new top-ranked player in the world (whose reign officially began on Monday) outlasted Vera Zvonareva in three sets to win the China Open in Beijing. It's Wozniacki's sixth title of the year, her sixth consecutive victory in a final, her third victory in a mandatory/premier tournament and, finally, a match and a victory over a top-five player.

Satisfied yet?

Wozniacki's victory is as big a win as you'll see outside of a major tournament. With all the pressure that came from the No. 1 ranking, the 20-year-old Dane stood up to the challenge, answered her critics and got revenge for her U.S. Open semifinal loss to Zvonareva. And she received a ridiculously big trophy for her troubles.

"I thought in general I played a really, really good match," Wozniacki said. "I just stayed focused, I kept running, I tried to keep the pressure on her, tried to keep her moving and I thought we played a really, really good match."

With the victory and Serena Williams' announcement that she's out for the rest of the season, Wozniacki all but assures herself the year-end No. 1 rank. She'll deserve it. I understand that some factions of folks won't be sated until Wozniacki wins a Grand Slam, and that's fine. Given her play over the last six months, I don't think they'll have to wait too long.

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