The Women's Tennis Association or the WTA first introduced the WTA rankings in 1975 two years after the ATP published the first set of rankings for the Men's game. The rankings are cumulative in nature a rollover at the end of the season. In Singles, up to 16 tournaments can be considered for the basis of an award of ranking points. The magnitude of ranking points awarded varies in structure. The Grand Slams get the maximum points, followed by the Premier Mandatory Tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing), Premier 5 events (Doha, Rome, Montreal, Cincinnati, Wuhan) and the remaining 12 Premier tournaments in descending order. Prior to 2016, ranking points were also awarded for wins scored in the Olympic Games. However, it has been disbanded recently.
25 women belonging to 13 different countries have been ranked World Number 1. Martina Hingis was the youngest to be ranked World Number 1 for the first time and Angelique Kerber is the oldest first-time Number 1 of all-time.
We take a look back at 5 women who occupied the summit of the rankings for the most number of weeks:
#5 Martina Hingis
Swiss tennis legend Martina Hingis was a tennis prodigy who broke many youngest ever tennis records in the late 1990s. At Wimbledon 1996, she won the Doubles title and became the youngest ever Wimbledon Champion across all formats of tennis. She is one of few women to have been ranked World number 1 in both Singles and Doubles at the same time. She became the youngest player to be ranked World number 1 by the WTA. She achieved this feat in March 31st 1997 at the age of just 16. Martina Hingis had 5 stints at the top of the WTA rankings in her career. She spent a total of 209 weeks at the top of the rankings including 80 consecutive weeks.