Yes, yes! A new chapter begins in the Battle of the Real No. 1s, the WTA saga that has become my personal obsession this season.
With Dinara Safina’s history making loss to 226-ranked Zhang Shuai on Monday and Serena Williams’s straight set victory over Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday at the China Open, Serena will break the Russian’s 25-week hold on the Top Spot and retake Numero Uno on Monday for the 73rd (non-consecutive week) of her career.
“I think I’ve earned it… I definitely feel better. I mean I would be lying if I sat here and said that I didn’t.” that’s Serena after her win. But it could almost be Dinara, couldn’t it?
After winning her first title of the season in Tokyo this weekend, Maria Sharapova arrived in Beijing and took out 9th seeded Victoria Azarenka in the second round on Tuesday: 6-3, 6-7, 7-5, coming back from a 3-5 deficit in the third set. Maria continues to fight her way up the rankings (as she continues to fight with her serve), rising swiftly and steadily from No. 126 in May to No. 15 this week.
When you see reaction shots like these, how can you not believe that this woman is hell bent on making it to the top?
Here’s what Maria had to say about it after the match:
Q: What would mean more to you for next season, to win a Grand Slam or to regain world No. 1?
SHARAPOVA: To win a Grand Slam.
Q: Any Grand Slam you prefer?
SHARAPOVA: Probably Wimbledon.
With Henin, Clijsters, Venus and Serena in the mix with Maria, the Battle of 2010 may be over Wimbledon and not the No. 1 ranking. Either way, I can’t wait!