Earlier this week I mentioned to a friend of mine who claims to be a tennis fan that the women’s singles #1 ranking could change hands at the 2016 Western & Southern Open. He was incredulous. Who could possibly supplant Serena Williams at the top of the WTA mountain? Ah…I should be familiar by now with “tennis fans” who really only follow one or two players or just watch finals at Majors. Even so, if they were paying attention to big time finals, Majors and Olympics, they would have noticed that Angelique Kerber won the 2016 Australian Open, was runner-up at Wimbledon 2016 and was the Silver Medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics. After defeating Simona Halep 6-3 6-4 in the Cincinnati semifinals the world #2 from Germany has a chance to reach a ranking once held for many years by her idol, Steffi Graf. Angie will need to get by the hard-serving Karolina Pliskova, who powered past Garbine Muguruza, 6-1 6-3. I’ve been looking for more consistency from Pliskova. She has great tools that few players can stand up to…when she’s on. But Kerber loves power players. Karolina would be well served to mixed in some of her slices, at which she’s adept, to keep Angie off-balance or there will be a new world #1 at the end of the final.
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15 KAROLINA PLISKOVA d. 4 Garbine Muguruza, 6-1 6-3
2 ANGELIQUE KERBER d. 3 Simona Halep, 6-3 6-4