Grand Slams, not top spot, the lure for Sharapova
Updated: 2013-03-19 09:30
LOS ANGELES - Maria Sharapova rose to number two in the rankings on Monday after her impressive title run at the BNP Paribas Open but says she is motivated much more by Grand Slam glory than the prospect of regaining the top spot.
"Number one is a great number," the elegant Russian laughed after demolishing eighth-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-2 in Sunday's final of the elite WTA event at Indian Wells to land her 28th title on the circuit.
"The more consistent you are and the better results that you have and the more wins that you're able to get, the better chances you have of getting that spot.
"Is it something that all of us want? Absolutely. It's a 'no-brainer' question. But I think at this point in my career, titles and Grand Slams are just a bigger priority."
Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates match point to defeat Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in their women's singles final match at the BNP Paribas Open WTA tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, March 17, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
Four-times Grand Slam Sharapova is well accustomed to the allure of being viewed as the game's best player, having become the fifth youngest woman to reach the top of the world rankings, at the age of 18 in 2005.
For her to regain that top spot, however, she will have to overhaul American Serena Williams who, when fully fit and on her game, is virtually unbeatable in women's tennis.
"Serena was very dominant last year," Sharapova said of Williams, who won Wimbledon, Olympic gold and the US Open as she piled up seven titles in a dazzling 2012 campaign. "She played tremendous, confident tennis.
"She's also very strong and very athletic, so you need to be consistent with her. She's also a great frontrunner. You're down a little bit and she goes with it. She's a confidence player."
When it comes to head-to-heads between Sharapova and Williams, it is virtually no-contest. The Russian has won only twice in their 13 career meetings with her most recent victory dating back nine years to the Tour Championship in Los Angeles.
Sharapova has been beaten in straight sets by Williams in their last six matches.