Angelique Kerber is edging closer to replacing Serena Williams at the summit of tennis, with the star needing just one win to achieve that feat.
The German beat Simona Halep 6-3, 6-4 to move closer to the top spot in women’s tennis. Williams has led the WTA rankings for 183 consecutive weeks, the second-longest such stretch.
A win on Sunday over 15th-seeded Karolina Pliskova would move Kerber to the top spot in next week’s rankings. Williams dropped out at the start of the tournament because of an inflamed shoulder, leaving her ranking vulnerable.
”I’ve had a lot of ups and downs the last few years and a lot of experiences from which I’ve learned,” Kerber said. ”I think I’m one of the best tennis players.
”One match away, still a long way to go.”
She’d become only the second German woman to hold the top spot. Steffi Graf’s reign at No. 1 ended in 1997. It would be Kerber’s first title in Cincinnati – she lost her other finals appearance in 2012.