WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen | As she hunts for a 23rd Grand Slam title, Serena Williams will also try to wrest the No.1 ranking from Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - For the first time since the 2013 Australian Open, Serena Williams is not the top seed at a Slam.

World No.2 Serena will need to make the final of the Australian Open to have a chance of retaking the No.1 from Angelique Kerber. Serena ceded the No.1 ranking to Kerber in September after the German capped off her incredible year by winning her second major at the US Open.

With that, Kerber ended Serena's record-tying 186 consecutive week reign at the top. Kerber is the 22nd woman to hold the No.1 ranking. The 28-year-old is just the second German to hold the No.1 since computer rankings were introduced in 1975 and the first since Stefanie Graf spent the last of her record 377 weeks at No.1 in March 1997.

So will the No.1 ranking switch hands for the 89th time at the Australian Open?

With 2,000 points on the line, the No.1 ranking is in play in Melbourne. Serena will need to reach the final to have a chance at overtaking Kerber, who can secure the ranking if she makes the final herself.

Here are the scenarios:

- Serena needs to at least reach the final to overtake Kerber.
- If Kerber advances to the Round of 16, Serena would need to win the title AND Kerber would need to lose before the final for Serena to retake No.1.
- Kerber can also secure the No.1 by reaching the final, regardless of any other results.

Kerber begins her title defense on Monday against Lesia Tsurenko. Serena, a six-time champion in Melbourne, will get her campaign underway on Tuesday against Belinda Bencic.

Hear the Insider team break down their chances in the Insider Podcast: