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Williams on Verge of Becoming Oldest No. 1

February 15, 2013
By MICHAEL CASEY, AP Sports Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

DOHA, Qatar - Serena Williams moved with a victory of becoming the oldest top-ranked women's player, sweeping aside Urszula Radwanska 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the Qatar Open quarterfinals.

If the 31-year-old Williams reaches the semifinals by beating seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova she will return to No. 1 for the first time in 2 years. Chris Evert was No. 1 in 1985 while just shy of her 31st birthday.

"It's awesome," Williams said. "Since I didn't do the youngest, I figure I'll do the oldest."

If Williams doesn't make the last four, Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka can keep the top spot by reaching the final. Third-ranked Maria Sharapova can pass both players if she wins the tournament and Williams and Azarenka lose their next matches.

Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam winner, was joined in the last eight by Azarenka, former No. 1s Caroline Wozniacki and Sharapova, plus 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur and Agnieszka Radwanska.

Azarenka extended her unbeaten run in 2013 to 11 matches by thrashing Christine McHale of the United States 6-0, 6-0, Wozniacki downed Mona Barthel of Germany 7-6 (6), 6-3, and Sharapova got past Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3.

Fact Box


At The Khalifa Tennis Complex

Doha, Qatar

Purse: $2.369 million (Premier)

Surface: Hard-Outdoor


Third Round

Agnieszka Radwanska (4), Poland, def. Ana Ivanovic (13), Serbia, 6-1, 7-6 (6).

Caroline Wozniacki (10), Denmark, def. Mona Barthel, Germany, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

Sara Errani (6), Italy, def. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.

Victoria Azarenka (1), Belarus, def. Christina McHale, United States, 6-0,6-0.

Sam Stosur (8), Australia, def. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia, 6-4, 7-5.

Maria Sharapova (3), Russia, def. Klara Zakopalova, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3.

Petra Kvitova (7), Czech Republic, def. Nadia Petrova (11), Russia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Serena Williams (2), United States, def. Urszula Radwanska, Poland, 6-0, 6-3.

Stosur edged Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 7-5, and Agnieszka Radwanska beat an error-prone Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 7-6 (6).

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