Now that Roger Federer has kids and Rafael Nadal’s confirmed to play in Canada, the hot question is when will Serena Williams and her three Slams finally pass Dinara Safina for the No. 1 ranking and get justice! Arriving at an answer is not as easy as you may think because for the life of me I cannot find WTA player ranking point breakdowns anywhere in cyberspace, including the WTA Tour website!

But I took a stab at it anyway. So with my excel spreadsheet handy, here’s what I’ve found:

Safina will be No. 1 next Monday, August 10 with a lead entering the Cincinnati Premier 5 event of at least 973 points (please don’t quote me on that number) depending on how Dinara finishes up in LA this week.

Keep in mind though both Safina and Serena did not play either Cincinnati last year (Canada has already dropped), so they will not be dropping any points from those events. However, on August 17 Dinara will drop 490 Olympic points, Serena 180, so Serena will pick up 310 points a week from next Monday. Follow?

With the Olympic points removed, Dinara’s 973 points minimum advantage shrinks to 772. That is, Dinara would lose 490 but add 150 (her 17th best) for 9261, while Serena loses 180, adds 1 for 8489. The difference is 772. Simple, eh? And with first prize in Cincy of 800 that gives Serena a slim shot at No. 1 with a title.

But that’s the scenario if and only if Dinara loses early in LA this week. If Dinara reaches the semifinals or beyond in LA, she will be guaranteed No. 1 through the week of the 17th.

By advancing to the LA semifinals Dinara would be pick up 200 points. But that won’t show until after Cincinnati when her 200 LA points replace the 490 Olympic points given her at least an 822 point cushion on Serena during Cincinnati. “Huh?” you say. The 200 becomes her 17th best (greater than her previous 200) so that goes into her Best 16 when the Olympics go out.

So to put a nice ribbon and bow on this, if Safina reaches the semifinals in LA this week she will be guaranteed of No. 1 until August 23. If she loses before the semifinal this week then Serena can return to No. 1 on August 17 if she wins Cincinnati and bad things, really bad things, happen to Dinara. As long as Serena does well in Cincy and Dinara doesn’t, looks like Canada will determine the No. 1 and the top seed at the US Open.

Go it?

If you’ve made it this far, good for you! And I will say, if your head hurts after reading this you are not alone.

And as a bonus for your attention, if you want to know how the WTA ranks works, allow me to inflict further pain on ye noggin. In a nutshell for the Top 10 the ranking points are tallied from a player’s best 16 tournament results in the last 52 weeks which includes the four slams, the tour championships, the four Premier Mandatory tournaments (Madrid, IW, Miami, Beijing) plus the top two calendar year Premier 5 stops (Cincy, Montreal, Rome, Dubai, Tokyo). The remaining slots 5-6 slots are filled by Premier and International events.

Questions? Send them to the WTA! Errors? Send them to the WTA, too.