Kerber crowned US Champion
Originally published on 11/09/16 00:00
In a hard fought match on Arthur Ashe Stadium with the temperature at 88 degrees Fahrenheit and 62% humidity, the almost capacity crowd of 25,268 were treated to one of the best US Open finals in recent memory. Only three of the last 21 finals have gone the distance and been played over three sets.
Pliskova, who became only the eighth player in the Open era to beat both Serena and Venus Williams en route to a final and has never been beyond the third round of a major, played a superb match. Despite dropping the first set, she re-grouped and changed her tactics, coming to the net more added to which she found the trademark big serve that had deserted her in the first set.
But it was the more experienced Kerber, playing in her third Grand Slam final this year that came though in the end. The German has never lost a match after winning the first set and when she dropped the second set to Pliskova, it was the first set she had dropped all tournament.
The third set had three breaks of serve. Kerber was broken in the third game, but broke back in the sixth game. The final break came on Pliskova’s serve as she served at 4-5, Kerber breaking to love to win the Championship in two hours and seven minutes.
In a reflection of the quality of the match, until the final set both players had hit more winners than unforced errors. The final tally which explains how the German managed to take her second Grand Slam title of the year, show Kerber made 14 winners compared to nine unforced errors while Pliskova hit 10 winners but made 22 unforced errors.
Kerber is only the fourth player in the Open era to reach three Grand Slam finals in the same year they reached their first, after Evonne Goolagong Cawley (1971), Steffi Graf (1987) and Martina Hingis (1997).
This time last year Kerber was ranked No.11 in the world. It has been a stunning year for the German who at 28 years of age also becomes the oldest women’s player to make her debut at world No.1.
"I've won my second Grand Slam in one year – it's the best year. It's just incredible," Kerber said after the match.
Angelique Kerber’s route to the Championship
R1 d. Polona Hercog 6-0 1-0 (Ret)
R2 d. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2 7-6(7)
R.3 d. Catherine Bellis 6-1 6-1
R.4 d. Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-5
QF d. Roberta Vinci 7-5 6-0
SF d. Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3
F d. Karolina Pliskova 6-4 4-6 6-4