SHARAPOVA EAGER TO LEAD WORLD TENNIS-IF SHE WINS WTA

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MOSCOW, May 4 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian girl has never before made WTA Number One. Maria Sharapova, 18, may be the first. To get to the top, she needs only to win the $1.3 million German Open in Berlin this week.

"I'm world's No. 2 for now, and to get to the top rank would be a tremendous honor to me.

"To tell the truth, I won't fall into despair if I don't-I have a long career ahead, with all the time I want. I'll surely make it to the top, someday," she said in an interview with the on-line Gazeta.ru.

Masha knows she'd better train like crazy instead of building castles in the air-or she may fall as quickly as she has come up, says the reasonable girl.

The clay court she will encounter in Berlin doesn't baffle her-Masha knows what to make of it from her many junior meets. The clay demands long play, so patience matters most here. To be fit, body and mind, does the whole thing, she remarked.

Masha appeared, a few days ago, on the People magazine's list of the world's fifty most beautiful people. That was a treat-but the Wimbledon champ says she forgets it the instant she appears on the court. "Tennis is a sport nothing is to interfere with," the glamorous blonde pensively uttered.

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