Serena ranking drops to 175

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Wimbledon champions Novak Djokovic of Serbia (left) and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic pose for photographers at the Champions' Dinner in London on Sunday.

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic rose to No. 1 in the ATP rankings for the first time yesterday, while Serena Williams dropped to 175th on the WTA list, her lowest spot since 1997.

Djokovic officially moved up from No. 2 one day after beating previously top-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 for his first title at the All England Club. It's the first time in nearly 7 years that a man other than Nadal or Roger Federer is ranked No. 1.

"Times are changing," the 24-year-old Djokovic said yesterday. "It's good for the sport, I think, to have some new faces."

Federer first took the top place on February 2, 2004, and he or Nadal had been No. 1 every week since then. Federer spent a total of 285 weeks there, one week short of Pete Sampras' record. Nadal's latest stay began on June 7, 2010, the day after he won last year's French Open.

"They have made me improve," Djokovic said. "They have made me a better player."

Djokovic had been No. 2 since March. But he surged past Nadal by going 48-1 with eight titles so far in 2011, including grand slam trophies at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

The ATP presented him with a cake shaped like a "1'' in the red, blue and white colors of Serbia's flag. He is the first man from that country to be No. 1 since the ATP introduced computer rankings in 1973.

"Any athlete in the world dreams of being No. 1 of the world. This is something that gives us a lot of motivation," Djokovic said. "So finally, when you really do it, and when you know that you're the best, it's just an amazing achievement."

Nadal is now No. 2. Federer remained at No. 3, followed by Andy Murray and Robin Soderling.

The man who upset Soderling in Wimbledon's third round before losing to Djokovic in the quarterfinals, 18-year-old qualifier Bernard Tomic of Australia, leaped from 158th to a career-high 71st in the rankings.

Tomic was the youngest man to reach the quarterfinals at the grasscourt grand slam tournament since Boris Becker won a second consecutive Wimbledon title in 1986.

Williams is a former No. 1 and a 13-time grand slam champion who was ranked 25th entering Wimbledon after missing nearly a full year because of a series of health scares. As the defending champion at the All England Club, though, Williams had a lot of rankings points to defend, so her loss to Marion Bartoli in the fourth round led to the 150-place slide.

Williams hasn't been this far down since the rankings of November 3, 1997, when she was 304th. She moved into the top 150 the next week, and hadn't fallen back outside that level until now.

Her older sister Venus, who also lost in the fourth round last week, went from 30th to 34th yesterday, meaning that Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who stayed at 31st after a first-round exit, is the highest-ranked US woman for the first time.

Caroline Wozniacki stayed at No. 1, despite losing in the fourth round last week. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova rose one spot to No. 7, while runner-up Maria Sharapova also moved up one place, to No. 5.

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