Kerber, New No. 1, Secures Top Spot by Beating Pliskova in US Open Final
by Staff | September 10th, 2016, 8:16 pm

Angie Kerber put a stamp on her new reign at the No. 1 ranking on Saturday at the US Open, outlasting big-serving No. 10 seed and breakout player Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the final.
Kerber had wrapped-up the No. 1 ranking when Serena Williams lost in the semifinals, and then went 2-0 as the yet-unofficial No. 1 by winning her semifinal match and the final. The new WTA rankings will be released on Monday with Kerber in the top spot.

“It’s just amazing,” Kerber said between tears on court after the final. “I won my second Grand Slam of the year and it’s the best year of my career. For me everything started here in 2011 [reaching semifinals as an unseeded player]. And now here, five years later I’m standing here with the trophy. All the dreams came true this year.”

Kerber’s run up the rankings began in January when she won her first Slam title at the Australian Open, shocking Serena Williams in the final. The US Open is the 10th career title for the 28 year old. She is the first German to win the US Open since Steffi Graf 20 years ago, and the second German to reach No. 1 behind Graf.

A Top 10 regular since 2012, before the beginning of this season she noticeably dropped some weight, and the titles started piling up.

“I’m feeling quicker and I’m feeling that I can run for longer because after a long point I feel can go again immediately,” Kerber told The Independent after winning her second title of the year in Stuttgart in April. “I’m feeling fitter than I did in previous years.”

Following her silver medal run at the Olympics, losing to Monica Puig in the gold medal match, she immediately played Cincinnati the following week, reaching the final before looking run down in falling to Pliskova 6-3, 6-1 in the final. A week’s rest was all she needed to run through the US Open field, gaining revenge on Pliskova in a tough three-set final in hot conditions in New York.

Pliskova was happy being in the second week of a Slam for the first time in 19 tries. She became one of the few player to beat both Venus and Serena Williams in the same Grand Slam tournament, running to the final after never before surpassing the third round at a Slam.

“It was a great match tonight,” Pliskova said. “I knew it was going to be difficult. I found some power in myself in the second set. Even though I couldn’t get the win, I’m proud of the way I’ve played the last few weeks. Hopefully, many more finals to come.”

It was the second time Kerber was faced with climbing to the No. 1 spot following the Cincinnati final where she was denied by Pliskova, who on Saturday saw her 11-match winning streak ended.

“It means a lot to me to be No. 1,” Kerber said. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be No. 1 in the world and win Grand Slams. All the dreams came true this year. I’m trying to enjoy all the moments, on court and off court.”

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11 Comments for Kerber, New No. 1, Secures Top Spot by Beating Pliskova in US Open Final

AndyMira Says:

What a moment for Angel!Win US Open and secure world no 1!Congrats to her and her fans especially VP..And VP happiness surely will double tomorrow if Novak win USO..Oh,i’m so jealous of you VP!

Van Persie Says:

Hi AM, thank you. Appreciate the congrats, but Margot deserves them more.:) My fave is Halep, but I also like Kerber. Congrats to Angie (and Margot)!

AndyMira Says:

Hey VP,yeah i just found out that Angel is Margot’s fav(silly me for not knowing it sooner!Sorry M)..and already gave her a congrats..Btw..good luck for today’s final VP..If Novak win later,you will find my congrats here,that’s for sure..

RZ Says:

Congrats to Kerber! A very deserving #1 and what a fitting way to take over the top ranking. Also nice to see Pliskova finally have a good slam run. Hopefully there will be more for her.

RZ Says:

Another player having a fantastic year is Bethanie Mattek-Sands. First the Indian Wells-Miami double, then the Olympics mixed gold, and now US Open champ with Lucie Safarova.

BBB Says:

I liked what I saw from Pliskova too – someone willing to take chances and make changes to her game to try to win. I hope we’ll see more and more players mix it up and start coming to the net again.

Agree with you about Mattek-Sands, RZ. She’s had soooo many injuries, but she keeps coming back.

jane Says:

i think i prefer pliskova’s game overall. she came to net a ton and no “moonballs” from her end. ;) but great women’s final regardless. both played so well.

BBB Says:

I admire Kerber because I think she has worked hard to become a top tier player. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve never considered her someone who has tons of natural gifts – rather, someone who has figured out what she has to do to make the most out of what she has.

Margot Says:

Why I like her so much BBB. She has worked so hard to improve her fitness and her game and she never gives up. She’s quite short for an elite player too, she looked tiny next to KP at the net. Love the way she crouches, almost on her knees, to get shots back, quite Radwanska like.
I think she also needs to add some pop to that lefty serve.

BBB Says:

Yes, Margot – a noticeable improvement in her fitness (I thought she looked very lean when she showed up in Australia at the beginning of the year), and that is in large part why she won yesterday. I’d guess Pliskova will redouble her fitness regimen so that she can hang at the end of long matches – she seems determined to keep improving her game. If she does, then I think she can be an exciting player to watch, with a big groundstrokes yet willng to mix it up.

And as the men’s match is about to start, I will once again lament the cheesiness of American sports coverage and lament that I don’t have a European channel to watch instead.

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