Angelique Kerber’s victory in the final was a surprise, and it might be the best thing to happen for the WTA Tour.
This is not to take anything away from Serena Williams. She had an amazing run last year and a very impressive run this year.
But the problem is that no one has risen to the level of Williams. In fact, I think the gap between her and the rest of the WTA is at its greatest in Williams’ long career.
There’s no player on the tour that is looked upon as equal, or a very dangerous threat to beat Williams.
Early in her career, there was her sister Venus, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, and later, it was Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters.
Today, the top player is Maria Sharapova, but she hasn’t come close to beating Williams. No one has been any closer.
I will also argue that last year Williams didn’t play her best. At the French Open, she was generally ill, and at Wimbledon, she struggled with nerves and had several three-set matches.
So having a new face who beat Williams playing at a high level offers potential for the tour.