But the 32-year-old American power-hitter, now on a career total of 55 titles with 17 major wins, told reporters in Beijing ahead of the China Open that she was “maybe top five”.
Williams achieved the feat in 2002 and 2009, and joins Justine Henin and Martina Hingis as a three-time year-end No 1, with only Steffi Graf (8), Martina Navratilova (7), Chris Evert (5) and Lindsay Davenport (4) ahead of her.
“I’m not the greatest player. I’m still playing and I’m still trying to reach records. And people like Steffi and Chris Evert and Navratilova and Margaret Court, they are the greatest,” she said.