Heading into the 2012 season, Victoria Azarenka was still looking for her first Grand Slam title, but she didn't have to look for long. In January she defeated Maria Sharapova to claim the Australian Open crown. The win propelled her from No. 3 in the world to No. 1, making her the first player to skip No. 2 en route to the top spot.
It was a breakthrough year for Czech lefty Petra Kvitova. She dominated the grass courts to take the 2011 Wimbledon title, defeating Maria Sharapova in straight sets. Her win at the All England Club marked her first Grand Slam singles championship.
After winning the 2012 French Open singles title, Maria Sharapova was not only back atop the world rankings, a spot she hasn't enjoyed since 2008, but also became only the 10th woman in history to complete a career Grand Slam. She entered the 2012 season ranked No. 4, making 2011 her fifth season ranked in the Top 5.
When Brisbane native Samantha Stosur defeated Serena Williams in the final of the 2011 U.S. Open, she not only claimed her first Grand Slam title, she also became the first Australian woman to win a major championship since Evonne Goolagong Cawley took Wimbledon in 1980.