Sharapova's Fast Track To Singapore
Published May 12, 2014 12:14
Maria Sharapova made a massive move up the Road To Singapore leaderboard on Monday after her Mutua Madrid Open triumph, skyrocketing from No.10 to No.3 on the year-long journey to the BNP Paribas WTA Championships Singapore presented by SC Global in October later this year.
Having never been higher than No.6 on the leaderboard, and even going as low as No.20 six weeks ago, Sharapova's Premier Mandatory-level triumph has positioned her as one of the frontrunners now.
"I don't take these moments for granted," Sharapova said in her post-match press conference. "I know what it's like to be out injured, trying to find your way back just to play tennis. And I really enjoy playing this sport. I like the work that I put in, and I want to get the opportunities to be in the final, so it doesn't matter if I'm playing on the moon or in Madrid, to be in the final position is an honor.
"I was happy I had a chance here, and it's very meaningful to win a tournament for the first time."
If she keeps going like she is now and ultimately qualifies for the WTA Championships, she won't be trying to win that one for the first time - she won it the first time she played it back in 2004.
Sharapova wasn't the only player who made an upwards move near the top of the Road To Singapore leaderboard - Agnieszka Radwanska went from No.3 to No.2 after reaching the semifinals, where she fell to Sharapova. Li Na, who held steady at No.1, reached the quarterfinals - also falling to Sharapova.
Halep fell to Sharapova in the final in Madrid, and stayed at No.5 on the leaderboard.
She was asked about her goals for the rest of the year. "I think the dream of every player is to win a Grand Slam, but this tournament and every tournament are very important for us, and it's very important for me to play in Singapore this year too," she said. "But it's too far to think about this now."
It's the Top 8 who will eventually qualify for the WTA Championships at the end of the season.
Just like Li did in singles, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci held strong at No.1 on the Road To Singapore doubles leaderboard, in fact extending their lead by winning the doubles in Madrid. Last week they led the No.2 team by 1164 points (3430 to 2266) and this week it's 1968-point lead (4430 to 2462).
"Of course it's still early in the year, but to have three WTA doubles titles already and be at the top of the Road To Singapore leaderboard is a great start to the season," Errani said after the final.