Is Angelique Kerber the second best player of this decade?
Angelique Kerber, who turns 31 today, would love to gift herself a second Australian Open title next Saturday. The three-time Grand Slam champion from Germany is clearly the only woman who has really challenged Serena Williams' domination in women's tennis during the course of this past decade.
Unlike men's tennis, where Roger Federer's class has been consistently matched by the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, women's tennis in this decade has been mostly one-way traffic controlled by Williams. One of the most decorated tennis players ever, the American has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles since January 2010 alone.
Kerber is the only other woman to have won three or more Grand Slams in this period. She also has a decent 3-6 record against Williams in their head to head meetings, having defeated the latter in the final of the 2016 Australian Open as well as the final of Wimbledon 2018.
Kerber, who made her Grand Slam debut in 2007, reached her first Major semifinal during the US Open in 2011. She made it to the Wimbledon semifinal the following year as well, which was followed by a place in the quarterfinals during the 2012 London Olympics.
For many years Kerber was among the top ranked players in the world, but her late surge in early 2016 changed things for good. She finally won her first Grand Slam at the age of 28, shocking the world with her win over Williams.
At the Rio Olympics the same year, Kerber defeated several top players including Eugenie Bouchard, Samantha Stosur, Johanna Konta and Madison Keys to reach the final. She lost the final to young Puerto Rican Monica Puig in the final, and had to be content with a silver medal for her country Germany.
Kerber added another Grand Slam title later that year, winning the US Open by defeating Karolína Plíšková in the final.
After a 2017 devoid of any Grand Slam title, Kerber's next big moment came in 2018 when she won her first Wimbledon title - where she defeated Serena Williams yet again.
Keber has been in red hot form this year as well, reaching the final of the Hopman Cup along with her talented countryman Alexander Zverev. Here's wishing Angelique a very Happy Birthday and a successful year ahead.