For the third time in the last five years, Maria Sharapova lifted the trophy at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory of Carla Suarez Navarro. By capturing her 35th career singles title, a mark that ranks 15th on the all-time WTA titles list, Sharapova secured her position among the Top 3 on the latest Road to Singapore Leaderboard.
With the start of Roland Garros less than one week away, here is a look at the Road to Singapore Leaderboard entering the second Grand Slam of the season:
1. Serena Williams (USA): Ranked world No.1 since February 18, 2013, Williams has lost only one match this year (25-1 match record) and owns two titles – Australian Open and Miami Open. She enters Roland Garros with 19 Grand Slam titles and will try to do something she not yet accomplished during her career – winning the first two Slams of the year.
2. Simona Halep (ROU): Halep owns a WTA-leading three titles through the first five months of the season lifting the trophy at Shenzhen, Dubai and Indian Wells. A finalist at Roland Garros last year, Halep reached the semifinals in Rome last week before falling to Suarez Navarro in a close 3-set match.
3. Maria Sharapova (RUS): Sharapova has enjoyed her best results on clay in recent years winning 10 of her last 14 titles on clay. The title in Rome was her second of 2015, having also won in Brisbane, and she narrowed the gap to No.2 on the RTS Leaderboard. Sharapova will be the No.2 seed at the French Open where she has reached the final at the French Open for three consecutive years winning the title in 2012 and 2014.
4. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP): The first player to record 30 match wins in 2015, Suarez Navarro is enjoying a career-best season so far. She has reached the quarterfinals (or better) at 10 of her 11 tournaments, but still seeks her first title. A finalist in Miami and Rome, she became the third Spanish player to reach the WTA Top 10 earlier this year.
5. Petra Kvitova (CZE): After missing two months of action, Kvitova has enjoyed a successful clay-court season leading into the French Open winning the title at Madrid, including a win over world No.1 S.Williams in SF, and a quarterfinal effort at Rome. Her title run in Madrid positioned the 2011 WTA Finals champion among the Top 8 on the RTS Leaderboard. Although she has failed to reach the second week at the French Open the last two years, she has enjoyed some success in Paris reaching the fourth round or better in three times.
6. Karolina Pliskova (CZE): The youngest player currently in the Top 8 at 23 years old, Pliskova has twice reached the finals of a Premier-level event this year (Sydney and Dubai) and won her fourth career title earlier this year in her home country at the International event staged in Prague. The WTA aces leader with 262 aces, Pliskova enters the French Open trying to advance to the second week at a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
7. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN): Wozniacki won her 23rd career singles title earlier this year and has finished as runner-up twice (Auckland and Stuttgart). In 2013 and 2014, she won a combined three matches on clay. Through three clay-court events in 2015, though, she has finished as runner-up at Stuttgart, including a win over world No.3 Halep, and reached quarterfinals at Madrid, including a win over No.9 ranked Agnieszka Radwanska. In eight appearances at Roland Garros, Wozniacki has advanced past the third round once, reaching the quarterfinals in 2010.
8. Angelique Kerber (GER): After winning only one match in March at Indian Wells and Miami, Kerber bounced back in grand fashion, winning back-to-back titles at Charleston and Stuttgart, both Premier-level events. The wins positioned her among the Top 8 on the RTS Leaderboard entering the French Open where she has advanced to the second week in three consecutive years.
The updated Road to Singapore Leaderboard for singles and doubles is released on Mondays on WTAFinals.com throughout the 2015 season. Later this week we will take a closer look at the latest RTS Doubles Leaderboard.