The top 5 last weeK: Angie Kerber kept on winning

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Angie Kerber

The German is incredibly fast, she is so steady and bends down so low, but last year she kept panickedin the final. This year, she has turned it around, winning four titles, knocking out Aga Radwanska, Elina Svitolina and Katarina Pliskova to win the crown at the Bank of the West at Stanford. Pliskova was pretty close in the third set, but Kerber was aggressive and smarter. Now it’s time for Angie to reach a Grand Slam final and see whether or not she is good enough to knock off everyone – including Serena Williams.

Sloane Stephens

In 2012-2013 it looked like Stephens was coming very hard and ready to make the top 5. The young player reached a series of second weeks at the Grand Slam and it appeared that as she got older, she would be more secure and wasn’t very emotional. But last year, she was out of it, as she was upset frequently and she wasn’t self-assured about her game. Finally, she won a tournament, grabbing Washington over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

No, she didn’t have to best the top players, but she badly needed a title and now she has her first. She is amazingly quick, she can go down the line with either her forehand or backhand, and she has a very decent serve. Currently ranked No. 29, if she is confident again, watch out at Toronto, Cincy and the US Open.

Katarina Pliskova

When she is on, Pliskova is incredibly powerful, but she is still learning. She has one of the biggest serves on tour, but she was way off in the final against Kerber. Had she nailed a number of aces, she would have won. She is only 22 years old and the Czech is very ambitious, but she gets impatient and needs to calm down in the important moments. If Pliskova can make that change, she’ll crack the top 5 and perhaps maybe she’ll win a Slam next year. She is that good.

Elina Svitolina

The Ukrainian is the youngest player in the top 15, which means that even though she isn’t very tall and doesn’t always smoke her forehand and backhand, she is pretty smart already and she hustles. She still has a lot of work ahead, but if she keeps moving forward, she should enter the top 10 next year.

Varvara Lepchenko

The American has had a very tough year, having pneumonia at the end of January and she pretty much wrecked her until last month, when she began to feel much better. She reached the semis at Stanford, upsetting Caro Wozniacki. Now, she is confident again and the No. 45 will be a threat against anyone.

 

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