• Kyodo

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Japan’s Ai Sugiyama has moved up to world No. 10, surpassing American Venus Williams, after the year’s final WTA singles rankings were announced Tuesday.

It is the first time a Japanese player has made the top 10 since Kimiko Date placed eighth in the yearend rankings in 1996.

Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne is the world’s No. 1 player followed by compatriot Kim Clijsters and American Serena Williams in third. Venus dropped from seventh into 11th.

Meanwhile, Shinobu Asagoe now ranks 45th, Saori Obata 49th and Akiko Morigami 63rd — each career highs.

Sugiyama, who partnered with Clijsters in the season-ending WTA Championship doubles final, fell from the No. 1 spot into third in the doubles rankings.

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