Australian Open 2012, Maria Sharapova: 2008 Champion Looking For Second Title

Maria Sharapova will be the No. 4 seed on the women's side of the 2012 Australian Open as she attempts to win her second tournament here.

Sharapova has won 24 WTA singles titles, including three Grand Slam singles titles at the 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open. She has also won the year-end WTA Tour Championships in 2004.

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has ranked Sharapova world no. 1 in singles on four separate occasions. She became the world no. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005, and last regained this ranking for the fourth time on May 19, 2008. As of November, 2011 Sharapova is ranked world no. 4. She has been in five Grand Slam finals with the final record 3–2.

The second quarter of the draw is spearheaded by No.3 Victoria Azarenka, who just titled in Sydney on Friday, while fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova and 12th- seeded Serena Williams headline the third quarter. The three-time major champion Sharapova was the Aussie champ back in 2008, while the 13-time Grand Slam winner and former No. 1 Williams owns a women's Open Era-record five championships in Melbourne.

For more on Williams and the Australian Open, follow SB Nation's tennis coverage.

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