Maria Sharapova has become the world's No. 1-ranked female tennis player for the first time.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
Maria Sharapova has become the world's No. 1-ranked female tennis player for the first time. Also the first Russian to ascend to the top, Sharapova became the 15th No. 1 in the 20-year history of the WTA Tour rankings. The 18-year-old replaced Lindsay Davenport, who had been No. 1 since October, and 82 weeks overall. "I know there is a lot of responsibility that comes along with being No. 1,'' Sharapova said. "And I want to represent women's tennis with the same class and style as the other great players, like Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Lindsay and the others,'' she added. Injury Sharapova has not played since August 11 at Los Angeles where she won her third-round match to reach the quarterfinals, but had to withdraw with a strained chest muscle. The same injury forced her to pull out of last week's Rogers Cup in Toronto, and she was not playing on the tour this week. Sharapova won at Wimbledon in 2004 and has nine other titles, including three this year in Tokyo, Doha and Birmingham, England. Her season record is 43-7. Davenport, 38-7 for the year, strained her lower back during the Wimbledon final, and the injury limited her comeback later in July to the first set of her opening match at Stanford, California. Unable to defend her titles at Cincinnati, Stanford, San Diego and Los Angeles, Davenport's computer ranking points finally fell below Sharapova's on Monday. (AP)