Re: Who's the next Russian player reach to No 1?
Safina, as iPatty. says has got til May to do it. If she doesn't make it by May I would say that is her window of opportunity well and truly gone. But I do believe she is almost certain to make it now based on how well she is playing at the moment and the amount of points she has to defend compared to those around her. Dinara is pretty much a lock for this question then.
As for the future, I'd be surprised if either Dementieva or Kuznetsova ever reached number 1 but it is hardly an impossibility. Vera's chances would be quite a bit less even than those two even but again I wouldn't stake my life against the possibility.
As for Sharapova, well she has got to number one before so, if healthy, there is no question she can do it again. But I would wait and see how well her shoulder heals before I attempted to make any real assessments on her future. Rotator cuff injuries can be very unpredictable. They can end careers, they can heal without a trace of damage, or anything in between. Tommy Haas in the ATP is a good example of an "in between" case. After coming back from his rotator cuff injury he was never quite the same player again but he still managed a lot of good results nevertheless. Sharapova's case of course is quite different in that she has chosen not to have surgery. We will see how that turns out.