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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Tennis

Grand Slams and not top spot the lure for Sharapova
Reuters
Los Angeles, March 20, 2013
First Published: 00:11 IST(20/3/2013)
Last Updated: 00:13 IST(20/3/2013)

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.

“No 1 is a great number,” the elegant Russian laughed.

“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,” she said on Monday.

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 U.S. 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."

‘Murray can be No 1’
London: Indian Wells runner-up Juan Martin del Potro believes Britain’s Andy Murray can become world tennis number one this year.

The towering Argentine beat Murray in the quarterfinals last week on the California hard courts and is looking forward to locking horns with him on grass after confirming he will play at the Aegon Championships at London's Queen's Club two weeks before Wimbledon.

"Murray is a big champion, he already won a grand slam, he made the finals in Australia and he has everything he needs to be at the top in the future," Del Potro said.


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