Simona Halep’s journey to the No. 1 ranking was a four-year rise that became a series of near-misses in 2017. Just when it seemed like the dream wouldn't be realized anytime soon, the resilient Romanian stormed to the China Open final and seized her place in history.


It was poetic justice as she defeated her French Open final conqueror Jelena Ostapenko to secure the No. 1 ranking.



Halep is officially the first-ever Romanian to sit atop the WTA rankings. The pure joy of Halep’s accomplishment shone through the Far East and traveled around the globe.



There's no doubting that Halep deserved the milestone. She’s been consistent in going deep at the biggest tournaments, and she’s had to bounce back from heartbreaking defeats while four other stars traded the No. 1 ranking all year long.

The congratulations poured out like championship champagne.



Legends of the game praised Halep, from Billie Jean King to Chris Evert (the first No. 1 since rankings began in 1975).





Even Halep's friends and competitors on tour were happy to chime in with congratulatory messages.




Coach Darren Cahill shared in some of Halep’s struggles to get to the top. 


Halep had to face plenty of critique and scrutiny after falling short the past four months, and even put it out of her mind for 2017. 


Now that it's done, Halep is all smiles and delighted to share her moment at the top of the world..


Halep is only 40 points ahead of world No. 2 Garbine Muguruza, so the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking is still very much on.