PARIS, France - Earlier this year Maria Kirilenko, already a Top 10 player in doubles, put the team discipline on hold to focus on breaking into the Top 10 in singles - and just a few months later the dream will become a reality, as she will make her debut in the elite come Monday's new rankings.
Kirilenko put her doubles career on hold after the Australian season and it didn't take long for her to start creeping up the singles rankings again. She made her intentions clear going into Indian Wells.
"I have a goal to break the Top 10 in singles, so by not playing doubles I'll hopefully have more energy to do that. Last year I played so much doubles and did very well, but I have to at least try this."
"I feel I can be on this level. Nothing is scary out there now. I can compete with them and win."
Kirilenko: Russia's 11th Top 10 Player
(Top 10 debut on November 3, 1975 & career-high No.7)
(Top 10 debut on June 22, 1998 & career-high No.8)
(Top 10 debut on February 26, 2001 & career-high No.3)
(Top 10 debut on February 17, 2003 & career-high No.2)
(Top 10 debut on April 5, 2004 & career-high No.3)
(Top 10 debut on June 7, 2004 & career-high No.2)
(Top 10 debut on July 5, 2004 & career-high No.1)
(Top 10 debut on August 9, 2004 & career-high No.2)
(Top 10 debut on October 2, 2006 & career-high No.1)
(Top 10 debut on February 19, 2007 & career-high No.5)
(Top 10 debut on June 10, 2013...)
Kirilenko will also become the second Maria - after Sharapova, of course - to crack the Top 10.
First Names With Multiple Top 10 Players
Andrea (3): Jaeger, Temesvari, Petkovic
Barbara (3): Potter, Paulus, Schett
Kathy (3): May, Jordan, Rinaldi-Stunkel
Anna (2): Kournikova, Chakvetadze
Jelena (2): Dokic, Jankovic
Maria (2): Sharapova, Kirilenko
Martina (2): Navratilova, Hingis
Virginia (2): Wade, Ruzici