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At the Net: Will 'Big Three' sweep the majors this year?

12:51 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It would appear unless your name is Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova or Victoria Azarenka, you're not going to win a major title in 2013. At least it appears that way to this scribe.

While the ATP has its "Big Four," the WTA's "Big Three" has combined to sweep the last five Grand Slam titles on the women's side. Serena currently holds the Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns, Shaza is the ruling French Open queen and Vika poses as the reigning two-time Australian Open champ.

A member of the Big Three also has been the runner-up at four of the last seven Slams, and Serena got the better of Sharapova in last year's gold medal match of the London Olympic Games.

I'm sensing a pattern.

The current rankings show Serena on top (with 10,365 points), followed by Maria (10,015) and Vika (9,575), with world No. 4 and 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska trailing Azarenka by more than 2,000 points.

Sure, China's Li Na reached her second Aussie Open final in three years in January ... but the former French Open champ didn't win it. That's because Azarenka (from the Big Three) did.

Moving on.

Sharapova replaced Azarenka as the No. 2 player in the world behind Serena just this week, as all three superstars converged on Miami for the prestigious Sony Open. Unfortunately for Azarenka, she was forced to pull out of the draw because of a nagging ankle injury, which also forced her to pull out of a quarterfinal against fellow former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki at the big event in Indian Wells, Calif., (where Azarenka was the reigning champ) last week.

Sharapova (again, from the Big Three) captured that title at Indian Wells for a second time last week to mark her first championship of 2013 and move her within one spot of regaining the world No. 1 ranking, again.

Note: Serena skipped Indian Wells, again, as she has every year since 2001 after having a falling-out with the dual-gender event in the California desert.

Oddly enough, Serena's lone title to this point of 2013 came at an Aussie Open tune-up in Brisbane back in January. And she lost in a blockbuster final at the hands of Azarenka last month.

At the 13-day tourney in Miami, the 15-time major singles titlist Serena came in as the top seed, a five-time champion and two-time runner-up, while her fellow career Grand Slam winner Shaza entered the draw as a four-time Sony Open runner-up, including last year. And the four-time major champion/wealthy Russian slugger lost to Azarenka in a marquee Miami finale two years ago.

When the second major of 2013 - the French Open - rolls around in May, who's gonna be your pick to win ... someone not named Serena, Sharapova or Azarenka?

Not me.

The Sports Network

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