Although the runner-up at the 2017 Australian Open in women’s singles was Venus Williams, I submit that the 2nd best player (to Serena, obviously) in Melbourne was Great Britain’s Johanna Konta. She had the misfortune of facing Serena in the quarters in a match where Konta played tight as a drum and fell short of what she had shown previous to that round, not even giving Serena much of a fight. Fast forward a few months and the 25-year old Konta has made a statement to the world of women’s tennis that she might now be ready to take the next step to Major glory by capturing her biggest title to date, the 2017 Miami Open.
For those that don’t follow women’s tennis, who only know the names Serena, Venus and Maria Sharapova, Johanna Konta winning in Miami might not raise an eyebrow. But for those who have watched her rise up the rankings the past two years, if Serena were to stumble at a Major, Konta would be in the next group of favorites along with the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber and the returning Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. She will reach her highest ranking, number 7 in the world, on Monday. I expect her to keep rising to the top 5 sooner rather than later. Serena still rules the women’s tennis world, but if she starts to slip, Johanna Konta could be the next big thing.
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10 JOHANNA KONTA d. 12 Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4 6-3