Switzerland's top tennis player, Martina Hingis, has retained her world number one ranking, despite her defeat by Monica Seles in the semi-final of the Acura Classic tennis tournament in San Diego.
The 20-year-old amassed 5,577 points in the new rankings released on Monday, which makes her the fourth player in women's tennis history to maintain her hold on the top position for 200 weeks.
Hingis joins the elite company of retired top female players Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as the only players to rank number one for 200 weeks or more. Graf holds the record with a total of 377 weeks at the top.
Hingis' No. 1 title puts her 1,058 points ahead of American Jennifer Capriati, in second place. Last year's number three, Venus Williams, dropped to number four, losing her place to fellow American Lindsay Davenport, despite beating her in the semi-final at the Acura Classic.
Hingis became the youngest player to claim the number one position in March 1997, just six months after her 16th birthday. She has won three tournaments this year but has not captured a grand slam title since the 1999 Australian Open, which was her fifth major title.
swissinfo with agencies