When it comes to Tennis, picking the favorite to win a grand slam title is easy. I had Serena winning Wimbledon 2016, yet I was one match away from picking her opponent. Angelique Kerber solidified her Top 2 ranking. She, Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka are three bona fide opponents who will stand in Serena’s way as she tries to reach the ultimate record of 25 women’s grand slam singles titles.
To win her 22nd title, Serena defeated three seeded players, with the biggest challenge coming from unseeded American player, Christina McHale in the second round. Though other matches were competitive, once Serena won the first set, the opponents seemed to doubt they could come back to win the next two sets.
In the match against Kerber, Serena avenged the recent loss from the Australian Open. To do so, Serena focused on two actions: cutting off angles, and hitting the ball directly at Kerber, as to not create angles. It will be interesting to see what adjustments Kerber makes for their next meeting. The way the draw is set up, they are likely to meet only in semifinals or finals of tournaments. The same goes for Muguruza, but not Azarenka who is currently injured.
This is not to say these are the only three players who can defeat Serena at the moment. With Maria Sharapova suspended and perhaps the inclusion of Simona Halep, these players form that next hurdle for many promising young players who yearn to get a shot at stopping Serena late in a tournament, specifically a grand slam event.