MIAMI, FL, USA - There are several compelling storylines surrounding Saturday's Sony Open Tennis final between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. For instance, Williams is trying to win a record sixth Miami title and Sharapova her first, which would make her just the third player to capture both Indian Wells and Miami in the same season.
Adding to the hype will be the fact the final will feature the Top 2 players in the world. Here are some stats about the history of such match-ups:
- This will be the 110th No.1 vs. No.2 match-up in WTA history, with No.1 leading the series 70-39.
- From 2005 to 2011, there were only three No.1 vs. No.2 match-ups. This will be the sixth instance since then.
- All but six of the No.1 vs. No.2 match-ups occurred in finals. The most recent instance of a non-final was in the semifinals of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012, when No.1 Victoria Azarenka lost to No.2 Maria Sharapova.
- This will be the fourth No.1 vs. No.2 match-up in Miami, with No.1 having won two of the three encounters - the most recent of which being No.1 Martina Hingis' defeat of No.2 Lindsay Davenport in 2000.
- The greatest winning streak for No.1 over No.2 is 13 straight from 1982 to 1984. All of them involved Martina Navratilova beating Chris Evert.
- The greatest winning streak for No.2 over No.1 is four straight from 1978 to 1979 and again in 1979. All of those also involved Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, though during those spans they traded the No.1 and No.2 rankings.
- In 44 of the 109 No.1 vs. No.2 match-ups, the players have split sets. Additionally, three times the match went four sets back when the WTA Championships final was three-out-of-five sets.
- The fewest games surrendered in a No.1 vs. No.2 match-up, not including retirements, is two. No.1 Martina Navratilova defeated No.2 Chris Evert, 62 60, at the WTA Championships in 1983, and by the same score at Amelia Island in 1984. Also, No.1 Steffi Graf defeated No.2 Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, 60 62, at the 1994 Australian Open.
- While Serena Williams leads Maria Sharapova 11-2 in their series, they have never faced off with one of them No.1 and the other No.2.
- Serena Williams is 3-1 in No.1 vs. No.2 match-ups, 2-0 as No.1 and 1-1 as No.2. Three of those four match-ups involved sister Venus.