Kerber begins reign as number one with U.S. Open win

Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:45pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Germany's Angelique Kerber began her reign as world number one in imperious style battling past a determined Karolina Pliskova 6-3 4-6 6-4 to win the U.S. Open final on Saturday and claim her second grand slam title of the year.

Kerber, who officially takes over from Serena Williams as the world's top ranked player on Monday, underlined her number one status displaying the heart of a champion as she fought off a fierce challenge from Czech 10th seed Pliskova on a steamy afternoon at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 28-year-old began the grand slam year beating Serena Williams to lift the Australian Open title and celebrated again on Saturday when she became the first German to win the U.S. Open in 20 years.

Kerber recovered from a break down in the third set, pouncing on her wilting opponent with two breaks in the third set to end a compelling, high-quality battle of attrition that stretched for two hours and seven minutes.

"It’s just amazing," a beaming Kerber, told an adoring crowd after being handed the winner's cheque of $3.5 million. "I won my second grand slam in one year. That’s the best of my career.

"Actually just incredible.

"When I was a kid I was always dreaming to be the number one player in the world and win grand slams and today is the day I won my second grand slam here, especially in New York. I’m the number one player on Monday.

"All the dreams came true this year."   Continued...

Sep 10, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Angelique Kerber of Germany with the championship trophy after defeating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in three sets in the championship match on day thirteen of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports