| By Steven Kaplan

Serena Williams lost in the finals of the 2016 French Open to 22-year-old Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, 7-5, 6-4, depriving the American of tying Steffi Graf's Open Era record of 22 majors. While many consider that Serena's current accomplishments merit her the title of "Best Ever," a 22nd major and beyond would seal the deal. Despite two Grand Slam finals setbacks in a row, more Slam titles for Serena are inevitable.

I would put the over/under career total at 24.

With a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over world number two Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic joins the most exclusive club in men's tennis history by completing a career Grand Slam and gaining his 12th career Slam. The discussion, just a short time again, was about the possibility of Rafael Nadal with 14 Slams catching Roger Federer at 17 Slams. That looks all but impossible now as Rafa is aging quickly and is plagued by a string of injuries. Roger could mount one last push for Grand Slam number 18, but any more beyond that would be a monumental task.

The talk now is about Novak catching and even passing the great Roger. I believe it will happen. Djokovic is playing the best tennis of his life. At 29-years-old, he is in the prime of his career and is perhaps the fittest player in the history of tennis. He could have three more dominant years and three more good years after that. Sooner or later, the next dominant men's player will come along to challenge Djokovic, but that player has yet to emerge. Injuries could limit Novak, but we are seeing a special player now and 20 career Slams is not out of his reach.

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.