Top 10 World Number Ones
Two new world number ones have been announced in recent days in both snooker and tennis, both Judd Trump and Novak Djokovic have reached the pinnacles of their sport although topping the rankings will not always convince everyone of their credentials. Without a doubt some who lead the way in their respective sports are more dominant than others and we here at FREEbets.org.uk have looked at who we feel to be most deserving of their number one spot.
10. Snooker – Judd Trump
After winning the inaugural International Championship in China at the start of November, Trump became the tenth world number one in snooker history. It is this win along with victories at the China Open and UK Championship last year that has seen him reach this pinnacle at just 23-years-old, an incredible achievement. However, the win at the International Championship was his first of 2012, and although he could go on to dominate the global game, winning just one competition in 11 months does not represent dominance just yet. The previous top dog reigned for 13 months, if Trump can still be top of the mountain by then, he will be a lot further up this list.
9. Tennis (womens) – Victoria Azarenka
The Belarusian has been top of the lady’s game since the back end of January after she claimed her maiden Grand Slam win at the Australian Open. She followed this up with a semi-final berth at Wimbledon and then her second Grand Slam final appearance of her career at the US Open which she lost to Serena Williams. So her performances have been consistently good but with Williams having won Wimbledon and the WTA Tour Championships as well as the US Open, not to mention singles and doubles gold at the Olympics there is certainly a strong argument to call Serena the best female tennis player in the world.
8. Golf – Rory McIlroy
It is fair to say that since the demise of Tiger Woods’ game over recent years it is fair to say that no one has stepped up to fill his giant shoes, but McIroy is doing his best and is leading the rankings. He won his second Major at the PGA championships this year and added the Honda Classic, Deutsche Bank and BMW Championships to his ever expanding trophy cabinet. Given the somewhat unpredictable nature of winners of big golf tournaments at the moment, the Northern Irishman is as consistent as anyone and may well go on to Tiger-esque dominance.
7. Tennis (mens) – Novak Djokovic
He may have only just reclaimed the world’s number one spot in the world of tennis, but nevertheless, the Serbian star has been a dominant force in the sport over recent years. 2011 may have been his best year as he managed to win the Australian and US Opens and Wimbledon but this one hasn’t been too bad either, defending his Aussie title, and reaching the finals of the French and US Opens, his worst performance in a major being a semi-final loss at Wimbledon. This level of consistency over a two year period paints Nole as a very deserving number one in his field.
6. Cricket (ODI) – England
The 50-over format was one that England seemed to struggle in for decades but under the stewardship of the unlikely one day star Alistair Cook, they have reached the pinnacle of the game. Even in this period of success they haven’t necessarily frightened teams like previous Australian and West India sides, but they have lost just three of their last 16 ODI series which is some feat. They have beaten every team there is to beat in that time and although they haven’t topped it off with a performance in a world cup yet, they are certainly worthy world number ones for their results since the end of 2009.
5. Cricket (test) – South Africa
Graeme Smith’s South African side came to England this summer with the goal of knocking them off their perch as the world’s premier test side and they did so in style beating their hosts 2-0 and inflicting the first home defeat on England since 2008 when South Africa last beat them. The Proteas may have only just got back to the top of the rankings but their success has been prolonged having lost just one test series in the last 20 stretching back to the winter of 2006/07, compare that to England’s eight series losses in that time and South Africa look all the more dominant.
4. Darts – Phil Taylor
The Power has held the world number one spot in the PDC at some point for every year since 2002 and his latest reign has been unbeaten since 2007 making his now five year stint as long as you are likely to find in world sport. He may not be quite as dominant as he has been in the past, especially as he has not won either of the last two world championships, but he is still very much the man on the oche. The ranking system in the PDC is done on a money list and a measure of his performance is that he is over £50,000 ahead of second placed Adrian Lewis and over £280,000 ahead of third placed James Wade.
3. Boxing (Heavyweight) – Wladimir Klitschko
The heavyweight division in boxing may have been lamented as dull and predictable over recent years, but that doesn’t bother the man who has reigned supreme over it Wladimir Klitschko. Dr Steelhammer holds the IBF, WBO, WBA (Super) and The Ring world heavyweight titles and has not lost a bout since April 2004. The accusation will always be levelled at the Ukrainian giant that he has never had to beat anyone special, but you can only defeat what is put in front of you as the saying goes and he has done that in impressive style for years now.
2. Horses – Frankel
Not necessarily seen by many in terms of world rankings, race horses are still categorised like this and the wonder horse Frankel has been topping them for well over a year now. Now retired, many have labelled the horse as the greatest of all time and certainly few will argue it’s the best of its day after compiling a perfect record of 14 wins from 14 races. Timeform, the organisation who rank racehorses have Frankel the highest rating any have been awarded for over 40 years. His main rival has been Black Caviar which may well have been adjudged to be the best in other eras, but not with Frankel around.
1. Football – Spain
Teams and players are famously difficult to make comparisons between over different periods of history but the current Spain team certainly have a strong argument in being called the greatest international team of all time. Regularly labelled as chronic underachievers they have convincingly put that notion to bed with their first World Cup win sandwiched between consecutive European Championship titles. The team has evolved since that first win at Euro 2008 but the core of quality players has remained the same and delivered the most consistent spell of dominance in international football for decades. The Fifa world rankings are often criticised but not in the case of Spain.
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