Serena Williams: Which Opponent Presents Her Biggest Threat at US Open?

Joseph HealyCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05:  Serena Williams of the United States reacts against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during Day Eight of the 2011 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

It would be hard for Serena Williams to have advanced through the early rounds of the US Open in a more convincing fashion.

She has yet to drop a set, and outside of one set that came down to a tiebreaker, she hasn't even been challenged.

Of the remaining players in the field, there is only one that can beat her—that is big-serving Australian Sam Stosur.

To be fair, there are other championship contenders in the field. As the top-ranked player in the world, you have to take Caroline Wozniacki seriously. The same goes for the second-ranked player, Vera Zvonareva. German Sabine Lisicki is also a player with the tools to be dangerous.

All those players just don't have what it takes to beat the overpowering Williams.

Wozniacki is a gritty battler, but she lacks the weapons to beat her. Plus, she isn't aggressive enough within points to put Serena away.

Zvonareva is an intriguing opponent, as she has a history of being able to beat Serena, but she has often caught Serena coming right off of one of her numerous rehabs from injuries.

This time will be different, and you know that Serena won't want to let any single opponent put together a track record of success against her.

Lisicki will be interesting to watch because she is a powerful hitter. She is one of the few with the power to shorten points with Serena, which you have to do to beat her.

My concern with her is that she has never felt the pressure of being in a big match against a player like Serena. Asking her to beat Serena Williams in a final at the US Open is asking a little much.

That leaves Stosur. Now a veteran, Stosur has the big-match experience to keep her from shying away from the moment. Stylistically, she also has the serve needed to keep Serena from setting up her big ground strokes.

If Stosur and Williams were to meet, it would be in the finals. That would make for a fun match between two ladies who hit the ball with a lot of authority. It might also be the one chance Serena Williams has to lose.