An emotional Serena Williams celebrates her return to the number one spot in women’s tennis after having a rough year, overcoming a series of potentially career ending injuries. Shortly after winning Wimbledon in 2010, Williams cut her feet on broken glass while on her way out of a restaurant in Germany. That led to two operations on her right foot. Later, she had blood clots in her lungs and needed to inject herself with a blood thinner, which led to another hospital visit when those shots caused blood to pool under her skin.
She lost the top spot to Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 who came under fire for an impression of Williams’ “assets,” an impression that many criticized as racist in nature. But she made a comeback worthy of a No. 1 in 2012, winning Wimbledon, the Olympic gold medal, the U.S. Open and the season-ending WTA championships. She lost only one match in 2012 after her first-round exit at the French Open. Williams has been determined to keep her game on point.
She’s back, becoming the oldest woman to hold the number one title at the tender age of 31. Williams rallied in championship form from 4-1 down to best former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open on Friday. She needed to reach the semifinals to replace Victoria Azarenka at No. 1 when the rankings come out next week. Williams held up one finger after winning the match, wiping away the tears as she addressed the cheering multitude. “I never thought I would be here again,” Williams commented. “Oh my gosh, I’ve been through so much. I never thought I would be here.”