| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Russian Maria Sharapova's withdrawal from the season-ending WTA Championships, has ensured that Caroline Wozniacki would end the year as world number one. Wozniacki lost her match yesterday at the WTA Championships in three sets 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to Russian Vera Zvonareva. But with world number two Sharapova out of the tournament, the loss in her second round-robin match did nothing to weaken her grip on the top ranking she has enjoyed for 36 weeks. Wozniacki will now face Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Thursday needing a victory to have a chance of reaching the semi-finals of the $4.9 million event. Wednesday though was all about the rankings and she could shrug off the defeat to Zvonareva with a smile.

“I like to play long matches,” Wozniacki told reporters after a presentation by the WTA. “I like to give the crowd a little bit for their money."

Wozniacki said the number one ranking was just as important as winning Grand Slams—a feat that has so far proved beyond her.

“Maybe not everyone will understand what a Grand Slam (is) because you have to be into tennis to know that. If you’re number one it means you’ve done something remarkable.”

Wozniacki has spent all but one week as number one since last October, briefly losing the top spot to Kim Clijsters in February.