Sharapova reclaims No. 1 ranking

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 1:39 AM ET

PARIS - Maria Sharapova will become the new WTA world No. 1 on Monday following her semifinal victory over Petra Kvitova Thursday at the French Open.

Sharapova originally ascended to No. 1 in August of 2005, becoming the first Russian woman to achieve the milestone. She has held the top-ranking for 17 non-consecutive weeks during her career. This is her fifth stint as No. 1, a position she last held in June 2008.

The 25-year-old Sharapova will supplant current No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who topped the rankings for 19 weeks beginning January 30 of this year.

"It's such an amazing feeling to be back in the position of being No. 1 in the world. I had the joy of holding the No. 1 trophy many years ago," Sharapova said. "Since then, I've gone through the injury and comeback, and to be holding it a few years later is a huge achievement for me. It's a special day and I hope I can keep the ranking for a long time."

Sharapova has won two titles so far in 2012, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart and Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, and finished as the runner- up at the Australian Open, BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. She has won at least one title every year since 2003, the sixth-best streak in WTA history.

On Saturday, Sharapova will look to burnish her No. 1 status by winning her first French Open title. A victory in the Roland Garros finale would see the Russian superstar become just the 10th woman to achieve a career Grand Slam.


Videos

Photos