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Serena Aims For No. 1 Ranking in Doha

Serena Williams has a good chance to reclaim No. 1 in the world this week as returns to action this week at the Qatar Total Open in Doha.

By Erik Gudris

Serena Williams (February 11th, 2013) -- All eyes will be on current No. 2 Serena Williams as she prepares to possibly retake her World No. 1 ranking this week at the Qatar Total Open in Doha.

Williams, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain she suffered during her opening match at last month's Australian Open, is among the players appearing at the packed WTA event that features 14 out the top 16 in the world except for Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova who are out due to injury.

A run to the semifinals in Doha will assure Williams of the top WTA spot regardless of other results this week. If Williams doesn't make it that far, the battle for No. 1 will once again be between defending champion Victoria Azarenka and No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova.

Azarenka, who is still No.1 for the 51st week in her career, must at least reach the finals to stay on top. Sharapova will have to win the title outright to take over from Azarenka.

In a pre-tournament press conference, Williams once again remained rather non-committal on if she is actively seeking a return to No. 1, a spot she last held in October 2010.

"It will be great. I think it will be a great feeling. I obviously want it, but it's not the only thing I want. So if it happens, great. If not, I won't miss anything," Williams said. (Source:

Doha is one of the few WTA events Williams has never won while Sharapova will be seeking a rare third title there. If she does so, Sharapova will receive a special Diamond Ball trophy encrusted with gold and diamonds. Nadia Petrova, also playing this week, can also snag the trophy having won the event twice herself.

Williams will play her second round match later in the week against lucky loser Daria Gavrilova.

(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve)


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