28 Sep 2013

Serena secures number one ranking

1:28 pm on 28 September 2013

Serena Williams says she's not the greatest ever women's tennis player after securing the year-end world number one ranking for the third time in her glittering career.

But the 32-year-old American power-hitter, now on a career total of 55 titles with 17 major wins, told reporters in Beijing ahead of the China Open that she was "maybe top five".

Williams achieved the feat in 2002 and 2009, and joins Justine Henin and Martina Hingis as a three-time year-end number one, with only Steffi Graf (8), Martina Navratilova (7), Chris Evert (5) and Lindsay Davenport (4) ahead of her.

Williams' total of 55 career singles titles means she is tied for seventh with Davenport and Virginia Wade on the all-time list.

Navratilova holds the record for the most singles titles with an astonishing 167, including 18 grand slams.

The Open era record belongs to Graf, with 22 major victories.

Williams is the top seed in the $US5,185,625 ($NZ6,262,454 million) China Open, while home favourite Li Na is seeded fourth.