World Number 2 Angelique Kerber, competing in the Masters 1000 Western & Southern Open being held in Cincinnati, is in the most favourable position to overtake Serena Williams in the WTA rankings and become Number 1. Serena’s reign is threatened as she has decided to pull out of the Cincinnati Open, where she is the defending champion, owing to a shoulder injury. That makes Kerber, the second seed here, the favourite to win.
In an interview Williams lamented saying, “I’m very disappointed I’m not able to compete in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, as I was really looking forward to defending my title...my shoulder inflammation continues to be a challenge, but I am anxious to return to the court as soon as possible.”
Having suffered a shock exit in the third round singles of the Rio Olympics and being shown the door in the very first round of the doubles with sister Venus, Serena is clearly not in her fittest form.
Under such dreary conditions for the American player, Kerber is eyeing the Number 1 spot in Cincinnati. In doing that, she will not only be dislocating Serena from a position she has occupied for the past 183 weeks but also act as the perfect obstacle in adding another page to Serena’s glorious history in creating her own.
Steffi Graf holds the record of being the Number 1 for the longest time and Serena is 2 weeks away of acheieving that feat. It will really be a sorry sight to see her lose the top spot at this juncture. But the chances are not wavering in her favour. Kerber is in fine form and is raring to go. Her draw at Cincinnati is also pretty easy. With Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska in her draw, she is in a comfortable position to defeat them.
Come Sunday, we’ll get to know how the cards play out for Serena and Kerber. Fresh off her silver medal win at the Rio Olympics, Kerber is looking to extend her success run on court at Cincinnati.
Kerber says, “ Everyone dreams about being Number 1. It would be amazing. I would give everything to achieve that goal.” It would be indeed splendid if Serena manages to break Steffi Graf’s record and on the other hand it would be wonderful to have Kerber as the World Number 1. The situations are still uncertain, and it all depends on how well Kerber will wield her racquet this week.