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Top Female Athletes To Follow In 2022: Naz Hillmon, Marie Philip Poulin, More

Naz Hillmon

Led by superstar forward Naz Hillmon, the Michigan Wolverines are once again one of the prime favorites to take home the national women’s basketball championship.

Hillmon has had no problem whatsoever in building off her historically dominant 2020-21 season.

The 2021 Big Ten Player of the Year averaged 23.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, leading Michigan to a 14-5 regular season record en route to First-team All-Big Ten and First-team All-American honors.

She capped the year off by leading the United States to gold over Puerto Rico in the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup tournament.

The Wolverines currently have +5000 odds of winning the 2022 national championship at FanDuel; South Carolina and Connecticut are the co-favorites at +5000. The top sportsbooks in Michigan Betting Market, are offering new customers risk-free bets of up to $1,000.

Hillmon has continued to dominate at all ends of the floor for the Wolverines. With Hillmon driving the offense, Michigan is in great position to go on another deep playoff run and avenge last year’s heartbreaking 78-75 loss to Baylor in the Sweet Sixteen.

Marie-Philip Poulin

Many regard Poulin to be the best women’s hockey player in the world.

The 30-year-old Canadian legend has proven to be one of the most clutch athletes of this generation, having scored the overtime winner against USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics gold medal game.

In the summer, Poulin scored yet another career-defining golden goal. Once again, it came against the USA, this time in the gold medal game of the IIHF Women’s World Championship.

Poulin’s goal handed Canada its first gold medal at the Women’s World Championship since 2012.

Poulin, who also won gold for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics, will try to add a third gold medal to her Hall of Fame-caliber career. She was part of the team that lost a heartbreaker to the U.S. in the 2018 Winter Olympics gold medal game.

In women’s hockey, Team Canada and Team USA certainly haven’t lacked in thrilling and unforgettable games on the grandest of stages. These two squads are the heavy favorites to win gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Ashleigh Barty & Naomi Osaka

No.1 ranked Ashleigh Barty will aim for her third Grand Slam singles championship when she faces Danielle Collins in the Australian Open Finals.

Barty, who won the 2019 French Open and the 2021 Wimbledon, is aiming to become the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open singles since Chris O’Neil accomplished the feat in 1978.

A victory over Collins would further strengthen Barty’s case as the top women’s tennis player in the world. It would also move her one step closer to the special feat of winning all four Grand Slam singles tournaments, needing only a US Open victory.

While Barty will continue to chase history, No. 14 ranked Naomi Osaka is another top player to watch closely. The two-time Australian Open (2019 and 2021) and two-time US Open (2018 and 2020) champion, had her bid for a repeat end when she lost to Amanda Anisimova in third round play of this year’s Australian Open.

But Osaka will once again be among the top favorites to win any of the Grand Slam tournaments this year. She’s reached the third round of the French Open three times (2016, 2018 and 2019), and the third round of the Wimbledon twice (2017 and 2018).

Can Osaka, like Barty, get herself closer to winning all four Grand Slam tournaments? The history chasing from both young phenoms is one of the top tennis storylines to follow throughout 2022.

Nelly Korda

Korda occupies the top spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf rankings. Her brilliant 2021 season was highlighted by a first place in the Women’s PGA Championship and an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

On top of those historic achievements, Korda also won the Meijer LPGA Classic and the second ever Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.

Korda put the rest of the golf world on notice with her incredible 2021 season. She should be considered a top favorite in the five LPGa Majors, the Chevron Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open, the Women’s PGA Championship, the Evian Championship and the Women’s British Open.

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