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Muguruza climbs to No. 1 in world rankings for first time

AFP-JIJI

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza officially became world No. 1 for the first time on Monday, as Sloane Stephens soared back into the top 20 after her surprise U.S. Open triumph.

Wimbledon champion Muguruza takes over from Karolina Pliskova at the top of the rankings, after the Czech’s quarterfinal defeat in New York by Coco Vandeweghe.

Stephens, who was ranked 957th six weeks ago after a long injury absence, jumps 66 places to No. 17 after winning 15 of her last 17 matches, including the 6-3, 6-0 thrashing of fellow American Madison Keys in Saturday’s U.S. Open final.

Keys is up four spots to No. 12 after reaching her first Grand Slam final.

Seven-time major champion Venus Williams, 37, now ranked fifth, has returned to the top five for the first time since January 2011, while her sister Serena, who gave birth to her first child during the U.S. Open, drops out of the top 20 for the first time in six years.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who started the year as the world No 1 slipped eight places to 14th after seeing her U.S. Open title defense ended in the first round by Naomi Osaka.