The 2012 WTA Championships Istanbul begins today and the world’s top eight singles players plus two alternates and four top doubles teams are in the Turkish capital to compete for lucrative cash prizes and important ranking points that will solidify their place in the 2013 season. Making her sixth appearance at this event is 2004 champion Maria Sharapova of Russia.
Sharapova has won 56 out of 66 matches played this season. She’s won three titles – Stuttgart, French Open and Rome. She’s reached the final of the 2012 Australian Open and semifinals of the 2012 US Open. She could end the season as world number one if current top-ranked Victoria Azarenka performs poorly at this event.