Sharapova’s hopes of finishing year with ‘numero uno’ ranking still alive

Updated: Oct 24, 2012, 22:13 PM IST

Washington: Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova’s hopes of ending this year as world’s number one player got a boost after she beat Italy`s Sara Errani 6-3 6-2 in straight sets to win opening match in White Group at the WTA Championships in Istanbul.

Sharapova who won the event in 2004, has called attaining the status her biggest priority this week at the season-ending tournament, reports.

The 25-year-old needs to win at least two matches in Istanbul while hoping that Victoria Azarenka, the Belarusian who currently holds the title of the world`s best, slips up in the Red Group if she is to finish the year on top, the paper added.

Sharapova, whose victory margin was identical to her only previous meeting with Errani, who she beat in the final of this year`s French Open, was delighted to make an impact at the WTA Championships after injury forced her early withdrawal last year, the paper said.