WUHAN, China, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 24th Sep, 2016 ) - New world number one Angelique Kerber is set to strengthen her grip on the top position at a star-studded Wuhan Open this week after Serena Williams pulled out with a shoulder injury. Kerber, 28, ascended to the top of the rankings at the US Open, ending Williams' 186 consecutive week run as world number one -- a record she shares with Steffi Graff. The German looks set to maintain her hold on the number one spot after the veteran American bowed out of the tournament -- and the China Open in Beijing the following week -- citing an ongoing shoulder problem.
It is the second consecutive year that Williams has been a no show at Wuhan and the China Open. With Williams staying off the court, the German now has a year-end run as world number one firmly in her sights, capping off a glittering year. Long established in the top 10, with 10 WTA titles to her name, the 28-year-old had never made it to a Grand Slam final until she swept the crown in Australia at the start of the year. She then reached the final of Wimbledon, but lost to Williams, before taking a silver medal in Rio.