Kerber Punches the Clock Tues., Now Serena’s Turn Wed. in Race for No. 1 at US Open
by Jeremy Davis | September 7th, 2016, 12:16 am

Angie Kerber wants the No. 1 ranking, and she will get it if she wins the US Open.
On Tuesday she made a statement, bageling the player who last year ended Serena Williams’ streak for a calendar-year Grand Slam at the US Open. The German beat Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-0 to move into the semifinals at the US Open.

Vinci’s slicing, dicing, off-putting game gave Kerber fits in the first set, soliciting 20+ unforced errors before the German was able to put away the opener 7-5. With a set and confidence under her belt, Kerber let it flow in the second set, dictating play while committing only two unforced errors en route to a 6-0 bagel.

“I think the key of the match was the first set,” said Kerber, broken three times in the first set, and breaking it down for any media members that couldn’t read the scoreline. “I think in the second set, what I did good [was] that I played the first few games really tough so that I was up 3-0 very fast. Then I could continue my good play, yeah, in the next few games.”

Now in the semis, Kerber is one match away from facing Serena Williams for a blockbuster final that would determine who exits the US Open with the No. 1 ranking.

In the semis Kerber will meet an opponent familiar with being on top of the world — Caroline Wozniacki, who has had a terrible injury-plagued year in 2016 with a ranking currently outside the Top 70, but this fortnight dialing back the clock to the years she reigned at No. 1.

Following up on an upset of No. 8 Madison Keys in the round of 16, Wozniacki on Tuesday in the quarters pummeled fellow unseeded player Anastsija Sevastova 6-0, 6-2.

“It’s amazing to be back here,” said Wozniacki, the world No. 1 five years ago. “I have always believed in myself whatever my ranking.”

The match was virtually over for Sevastova in the first set after she fell in the second game, needing a tape job on her right ankle, then losing it emotionally the remainder of the match.

“I felt real sorry for her,” said Wozniacki, who didn’t sound exceptionally sorry. “I kept pushing her back and making her run.”

The Woz trails Kerber 5-7 in their career meetings, and Kerber won their most recent encounter in Beijing last year.

Kerber and Wozniacki play similar games, but the power edge goes to Kerber.

“Caroline is always a tough opponent,” said Kerber, stressing her first-hand knowledge. “I know this. We know each other very well…it will be great match for sure. I know how she is playing. She is strong again. She had great wins here. So it will be a good semis.”

It will be Serena’s turn on Wednesday in Flushing Meadows as the world No. 1 faces No. 5 Simona Halep in their quarterfinals, with No. 10 Karolina Pliskova also squaring off against unseeded Croat breakout teen Ana Konjuh.

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9 Comments for Kerber Punches the Clock Tues., Now Serena’s Turn Wed. in Race for No. 1 at US Open

Margot Says:

The first set between Angie and Roberta was very competitive and, as the report says, Roberta’s slices caused Angie all sorts of problems at first. But once she got a handle on them, she was off. And Roberta was clearly exhausted in the 2nd set.
However, thrilled for Angie, my favourite! Now go get no 1!

jalep Says:

Robbie went farther that I thought she would! Thrilled for Angie, too.

Before I forget:
Big thanks to everyone who participated in the WTA Bracket Challenge game! Looking forward seeing everyone return for Australian Open 2017. Thanks sincerely, for saving me from playing by my lonely self :D. Congrats to everyone, first-timers, punters and experts. Hope you enjoyed it and gathered information and ideas for the next GS draw! ratcliff TG / jalep TX.

Only two Quarterfinals left:

The first match will be 24 yr. old, seeded player, #11 Karolina Pliskova versus rising star teenager, #92 Ana Konjuh, and both are in their first GS quarterfinal! There’s a whopping 430 points for a GS QF in the WTA. And one of them will move on to the semifinal and receive 780 points. Karolina will rise to around top 5 on the road to Singapore, or a bit higher, depending how far she goes. Ana Konjuh will leap from #92 to #41 for making the QF and should she advance to the SF, will be close to or inside the top 30!

The evening QF is #1 Serena Williams vs #5 Simona Halep. Their H2H is Serena, 7 – 1 or 2, depending if you count the 2014 WTA Final, first rubber, which I do count! :D. The one match that the WTA counts is Simona over Serena, Indian Wells SF 2015.

jalep Says:

Disappointing match probably because I expected more from Ana Konjuh after energetically knocking out a favorite, Aga Radwanska, last round!

Karolina Pliskova comfortably through to the SF.

Margot Says:

Yes Jalep, was really awful match. I guess Konjuh was just overcome by the occasion. She is very young.

jalep Says:

Yes I watched the first set of Angie v Robbie, Margot. Wow, wish Robbie coulda kept it up into the 2nd set but the action in the first set was all the glimpse we got of her brilliant game that beat Serena last year.

Although now, Angie has enough left for a battle with a rejuvenated Woz, I hope! Angie v Caro should be a good one, you think? Go Angie!

jalep Says:

About Aga Radwanska not wanting to bulk up: I understand it – not from an aesthetic perspective but because too much bulk and muscle interfered with riding my bike uphill and running trails. For skiing it helped if I was racing a downhill course – gravity and all that, lol… but for slalom or even GS, not so much. Strong and lean was the best. I’ve heard that report about Aga and not sure exactly if that’s what Aga’s thinking, I’d not believe 100% of what’s written and reported by the usual commentators in English, tho.

jalep Says:

She might not feel like compromising her speed for power. Maybe she could a put on a little muscle but doesn’t want to risk it – even though she could use it for her serve and weight of shot.

BBB Says:

Credit to Halep for bringing a good attitude to the match today.

I say it every time, but when Serena is in trouble, her lazy footwork becomes glaring.

BBB Says:

I will add that this match is exactly why I hate on-court coaching. Halep is figuring out the strategy on her own. Whenever they call their coaches down, they seem like petulant divas.

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