Serena Williams’ long reign as world No 1 is over after suffering a shock defeat by Czech Karolina Pliskova in the US Open semi-finals.
Stretching back to February 18, 2013, 34-year-old Williams has held the top spot for 186 consecutive weeks, a record shared with German legend Steffi Graf.
Williams had to reach the final to give herself a chance of breaking Graf’s record but fell one step short as No 10 seed Pliskova stunned the New York crowd with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win in one hour and 26 minutes.
The result guarantees that Kerber will overtake Williams at the top of the rankings after the US Open.
Williams had also hoped to win an Open-era record 23rd major singles title.
She remains tied with Steffi Graf for both Grand Slam titles, and the WTA record of 186 successive weeks as world number one.