Belarussian Victoria Azarenka is now the world’s number one women’s tennis player after beating Maria Sharapova at the WTA championships. Maria Sharapova was once the world’s number one, but fell to six before slowly climbing back up the rankings.
"It's kind of difficult to believe that a little girl from Belarus is on that list," Victoria told CBC Sports. Victoria’s victory comes on the heels of other triumphs. She won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. She won two mixed double championships at the US Open. Victoria briefly considered putting her tennis career on hold in 2010, but was inspired by her grandmother to keep playing.
Despite losing her titled to Victoria, it’s been a great year for Siberian beauty Maria, as well. In August, she became the first Russian woman to carry the Olympic Flag. At the summer games, she took home a silver medal after a narrow loss to Serena Williams. Maria is also the face of several design houses and has sponsorship deals with Nike, Canon and Prince. She’s a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. Last year, Time Magazine named her one of the 30 best tennis players, past and present.
Maria says that, rather than try to reclaim her number one world title, she will concentrate on dominating at Wimbleton in 2013.