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Three women jostle for No.1 spot

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Originally published on: 24/01/12 12:57

The world No.1 ranking has been a temporary home for many greats of the women’s game during the last 50 years and come the end of the Australian Open there may be a new name etched beside them.

Caroline Wozniacki, who has held the top spot since October 11, 2010, bar a week in February last year when she was briefly unseated by Kim Clijsters, was today sent crashing out of the season’s opening Grand Slam by that same Belgian.

The loss is a double blow for Wozniacki who will also relinquish the No.1 ranking, a spot she represented with grace despite a constant barrage of criticism about her lack of a Grand Slam title.

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and former world No.1 Maria Sharapova are the players left in the race to the summit.

The permutations of the remaining matches in Melbourne are as confusing as they are exciting so here at tennishead headquarters we decided to break down the numbers and layout the possible outcomes in the simplest form possible.

Petra Kvitova:

–    If Kvitova makes it to the final she will automomaically grab the top spot, but if she faces Azarenka in that game she will need to win the title to ensure it.  
–    She could also become world No.1 if she falls in the semi-finals as long as Azarenka loses to Clijsters and Sharapova doesn’t win the tournament.

Victoria Azarenka:

–    The Belarusian will capture the coveted position is she wins the tournament.
–    She could also automatically become world No.1 if Kvitova loses in the quarter-finals against Sara Errani and Sharapova fails to make it to the final.

Maria Sharapova: 

–    If Sharapova wins the tournament she will become World No.1
–    However, if Kvitova loses in the quarterfinals and Azarenka loses to Clijsters then Sharapova would just need to reach the final to regain the No.1 ranking.

So this clears everything up. Right? Right.

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