Angelique Kerber has had some ups and downs this year, but she’s managed to hang onto her place in the second five, proving that her emergence from the ranks of the journeywomen in late 2011 at the age of 23 is sustainable. The big question remains, just how far can she go? Many players, beginning with No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, can tell you that while it’s still possible to survive on the WTA tour without a powerful (or at least very effective) serve, it’s getting harder and harder to contend for major titles without that tool in the box. Kerber, who’s got the advantage of being a lefty, is one among many who face that dilemma on a daily basis. Nonwithstanding, Kerber has heavy groundstrokes, good hands, and excellent defensive skills—the latter due as much to anticipation and good court sense as mobility that’s good but not great.
Why She’ll Win:
Capable of burying opponents with serious firepower off the ground, Kerber’s anticipation and counter-punching skills will compensate for her lack of a powerful or penetrating second serve.
Why She Won’t:
Bold opponents always get a good crack at Kerber’s serve, and they’re able to push her back off the baseline, where her quickstrike capabilities are most useful.
Kerber is a different player than the pre-2011 model. Last year, she upset Kim Clijsters but was handily beaten in the semis by Radwanska; she’ll need to be able to hit players like Radwanska off the court to have a shot.
Click on each player's photo to see our thoughts on their Wimbledon prospects.
|Victoria Azarenka||Novak Djokovic|
|Roger Federer||David Ferrer|
|Angelique Kerber||Petra Kvitova|
|Andy Murray||Rafael Nadal|
|Agnieszka Radwanska||Serena Williams|
|Maria Sharapova||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga|