"Oh yeah? Come on, don't give me that," Graf said. "Come on, now. You can write whatever you want. You can say whatever you want. I know what I feel like."
Graf most emphatically feels like No. 1. Despite her difficulties this year, she never failed to reach at least the semifinals of a tournament and did not lose to anyone ranked below No. 5. "The good thing is that there were times when I really brought myself through, even though I was having such a tough year," she said. "I found out a lot about myself."
As for next year, Graf will seek some peace, Navratilova will pursue her 10th Wimbledon title, and Sabatini will try to find that last missing piece of her game. And Seles? The logical progression would be to No. 1. But she cannot quite place herself there yet in the face of Graf's steadfastness. "I mean, I don't know," Seles said on Sunday. "It's hard. I would probably come close."
She may come closer still.