Kerber Outfights Pliskova to win the US Open
Angelique Kerber assumed the world number one ranking in style by winning the US Open after a gutsy victory over Karolina Pliskova in Saturday’s final at Flushing Meadows.
Kerber, who won the Australian Open in January, had to fight back from a break down in the decider at a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium to win 6-3 4-6 6-4.
Pliskova, seeded 10th, had stunned Serena Williams in the semi-final on Thursday but could not repeat her giant-slaying act against Kerber.
Her powerful groundstrokes had the German on the run at times, but she was ultimately undone by 47 unforced errors.
As Pliskova blazed her final forehand long after two hours and eight minutes, Kerber fell on her back, cupped her hands over her mouth and held her arms aloft as she becomes the first German US Open champion since Steffi Graf in 1996.
Pliskova walked around the net to embrace the victor, who then climbed up to the players’ box to hug her mother, team and coach, Torben Beltz.
The success caps an incredible 12 months for Kerber, who clinched her first major title at the Australian Open in January, reached the Wimbledon final and won an Olympic silver medal.
“It’s just amazing. I won my second grand slam in one year,” an emotional Kerber said on court:
“It’s the best year in my career and actually just incredible. Being world number one means a lot to me.
“When I was a kid I was always dreaming of being number one player in the world and winning grand slams.
“Today I won my second grand slam and I will be number one on Monday. All my dreams came true this year.”
World no 11 Pliskova had never gone past the third round of a major in 17 previous attempts, and she will now rise to sixth on Monday’s ranking.
“I found out I can play my best tennis on the biggest stages against the top players,” she said.