There is a new name on the trophy – Angelique Kerber. The 28-year-old German is the new US Open winner after she beat new world No.10, Karolina Pliskova, in three sets – 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
The first was a walk in the park for Kerber as it seemed the nerves of being in the final at Flushing Meadows had caught up with the power-serving 6-foot-1 Czech player.
Pliskova committed 17 unforced errors alone in that first set. But the crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium was clearly on her side and with that support she rallied and started nailing big forehands as she took the second set 6-4.
The momentum was clearly Pliskova’s at that point and as she bounded to 3-1 in the final set. Kerber must have felt the worst but you are not No.1 for nothing more than these kinds of situations as she steeled herself to level at 3-3.
She then batted the ball down the line to go 4-3 up. With both players holding their next two games – it was left to Pliskova to stay in the match at 4-5, but Kerber broke to love to cap a wonderful tournament and year.
Pliskova had downed the Williams sisters – Venus and Serena – and when she rallied in the second set, Kerber was feeling the heat. The world number 1 took another break in the third and stayed on serve to see out the match and win her second Grand Slam – she made three Grand Slam final appearances in 2016.
Kerber, who replaces Serena Williams as world No.1, beat Williams in January to claim the Australian Open and Saturday’s victory saw a dream fulfilled. “
When I was a kid, I was always dreaming to be No. 1 and to win Grand Slams,” a clearly emotional Kerber said afterward.
Kerber, who celebrated her 28th birthday in January and won a silver medal in the singles at the 2016 Rio Olympics added, “All the dreams came true this year.”