Raymond returns to No.1 aged 38
Originally published on: 24/04/12 00:00
Lisa Raymond first made it to No.1 on the WTA doubles ladder all the way back in June 2000, but the 38-year-old American made history this week after joining partner Liezel Huber atop the rankings to become the oldest player ever to do so in singles or doubles on the WTA.
Raymond’s feat comes 12 months after she teamed with fellow doubles superstar Huber, and surpasses the previous record held by Kveta Peschke, who topped the rankings aged 36 last July.
"It's definitely a lot more special this time than ever before," Raymond said. "I'm the fittest I've ever been in my career, and I found the right partner too.
"Liezel and I always say it's about the team – you win together and you lose together, and you work hard together. This is gratifying for both of us – and for me at 38, to be back to No.1 after such a long road, it feels amazing."
A diminutive right-hander at just 5ft5, Raymond has defied her stature to achieve big – very, very big. The American has won 780 doubles matches on tour (to just 281 defeats), amassed over $9million in prize money and claimed a colossal 78 WTA Doubles titles. That’s one more (at current count) than ATP No.1 Bob Bryan.
Raymond already has four doubles titles to her name this year – in Paris, Doha, Dubai and Indian Wells – and she and Huber have claimed eight since last August in a spell that also saw them win the US Open and WTA Championships.
“Lisa has worked very hard over many years, had great results and achieved so much,” Huber told the WTA in praise of her partner. “She is a true champion and to achieve the No.1 ranking again is unreal! I congratulate her on a fantastic career and many more titles to come!”