Since 2013, when Serena Williams seized the first place in the ranking, the WTA Tour has been under her command. But, the huge gap in the ranking is getting smaller and now Serena sees her dominance being undermined. In 2016, the American athlete won little if compared with the previous season. She can brag about the Wimbledon title and the Premier Mandatory event in Rome, but those are not enough judging by the crushing amount of points to defend. She did reachthe final of the Roland Garros and Australian Open but failing to defend the trophies of 2015 meant that she lost more points.

Serena`s shoulder injury brings in anxiety

With a disappointing run at the Olympics ending in the slump of the 3rd round, Williams came back to the States in order to prep for the US Open. She got herself a wild card in Cincinnati -- the last test prior to theUS Open, but eventually she withdrew as her shoulder inflammation requires rest. According to ESPN, the WTA leader was eager to play in Cincinnati in order to adjust her game to the speedy hardcourt surface.

She is the defending champion there, and that means more points will be lost. Some big questions are ahead, especially if Angelique Kerber will find a dose of consistency over the following weeks. The German has a real shot of becoming the new WTA leader.

The numbers never lie

This week`s WTA ranking may be tricky. If you look at its top then you`ll see Serena Williams leading with her 7,950 points.

On the 2nd spot is Angelique Kerber with only 6,375 ranking points. And now comes the real math:Serena will lose 900 points due to her inability to defend the title in Cincinnati. On the other side, Kerber will lose nothing as her last year`s results on the American hardcourt were extremely poor. With that in mind, the next ranking update will show Serena with a harvest of 7,050 points. If the German will prevail in Cincinnati, then she will accumulate 7,175 points.

The math is rather simple, but to accomplish it might be a grueling endeavor. Following the Olympics, where most top 20 WTA players played well below expectations, a retribution wind may arise. As a matter of fact, most of the top WTA players will be participating in Cincinnati. So, Angelique Kerber, the Olympic silver medalist in Rio, will need every drop of power if she wants to hold the WTA ranking.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more