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Beyond the Baseline

Maria Sharapova: No. 1 not a priority

Maria Sharapova WTA Championships Maria Sharapova is looking for her second title at the WTA Championships, but hasn't won since 2004. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

ISTANBUL -- The No. 1 ranking is up for grabs this week at the WTA's season-ending Championships in Istanbul. Maria Sharapova is the only player with a chance -- albeit a slim one -- to unseat Victoria Azarenka as the No. 1 player in the world. While the scenarios are somewhat complex given the round robin tournament format, the simple version is that Sharapova has to win the title and hope that Azarenka fails to win two matches in group play.

Given the fact the top ranking isn't in her control, Sharapova said it's not on her mind as she prepares for the tournament, which begins on Tuesday.

"I don't like to think about what's not in control, in my destiny, and not in my hands," she told a group of reporters here in Istanbul. "It would be a great achievement, no doubt, but I've ben No. 1 before. The more matches I win here the better the chance I have of accomplishing that, I guess."

"But it's not the biggest priority this week."

Sharapova opens her tournament against Sara Errani -- a rematch of this year's French Open final -- on Tuesday.

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