• World rankings

Latest win the sweetest for new No. 1 Sharapova

ESPN staff
June 11, 2012

Maria Sharapova labelled her victory at the French Open as the sweetest of her career as she returned to the world No. 1 spot after a four-year absence.

Sharapova, 25, defeated Sara Errani 6-3 6-2 at Roland Garros on Saturday to become just the tenth woman in history to complete the career grand slam - four years after her last such success, at the 2008 Australian Open, and eight since her breakthrough victory at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old.

It is also four years since was last ranked as the best player in women's tennis, a title she was assured of reclaiming once she reached the final in Paris.

Having fought back from potentially career-ending injury, Sharapova revealed the win was the most special of her career.

"I never thought that something would be sweeter than the first one I won," Sharapova said. "But I felt like I really deserve this one because I've worked so hard.

"I was grumpy and I had my tough days and I yelled at people. But I never, never put my head down."

Sharapova admitted that she was not always convinced that she would return to her former level, however, as setbacks frequently derailed her comeback from a torn rotator cuff.

"I had my doubts, because I would always ask around about who had such problems, who had surgery, and who got back to the top," she revealed. "I didn't get many answers back, which was a little frightening. I was having a few problems with the shoulder about four months before the operation [in October 2008].

"But the biggest problem was that I was misdiagnosed. When the doctors looked at my MRI, they said you have inflammation. But I came to a point where I said, 'There's something wrong'."

Elsewhere in the rankings, Errani rises 14 places to tenth in the world after her runner-up finish, while Anne Keothavong has leapfrogged Elena Baltacha as the British No. 1 - Keothavong rising to 76th in the world as Baltacha drops 23 places from 68th to 91st.

The men's rankings will be announced following the conclusion of the men's French Open final, which is due to resume on Monday.

Women's rankings: 1. Maria Sharapova (RUS), 2. Victoria Azarenka (BLR), 3. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 4. Petra Kvitova (CZE), 5. Sam Stosur (AUS), 6. Serena Williams (USA), 7. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), 8. Marion Bartoli (FRA), 9. Angelique Kerber (GER), 10. Sara Errani (ITA).

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