Being the new No. 1 'amazing', says Kerber

NEW YORK • Angelique Kerber celebrated her ascent to the women's No. 1 ranking with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday to advance to today's US Open final.

The German left-hander was assured of becoming No. 1 when the new rankings come out on Monday after top-seeded American Serena Williams was defeated by Czech 10th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in the earlier semi-final.

Australian Open champion Kerber, who leads the WTA for the most main-draw match wins this season with 53-14, clinched victory with a backhand that actually landed just beyond the baseline but went unchallenged by former world No. 1 Wozniacki of Denmark.

"It's just incredible. It's a great day," Kerber said on court. "To be here in the final for the first time, that means a lot. To be No. 1 in the world, it sounds amazing. (It) was always a dream for me."

Kerber will become the second German to top the women's rankings, following Steffi Graf.

"For me, it's just amazing to be after Steffi the next No. 1 player (from) Germany," said Kerber, who at 28 will become the oldest player to reach No. 1.

Angelique Kerber chasing down a forehand during her 6-4, 6-3 US Open semi-final win against Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday. Serena Williams' loss assured Kerber of the world No. 1 ranking.
Angelique Kerber chasing down a forehand during her 6-4, 6-3 US Open semi-final win against Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday. Serena Williams' loss assured Kerber of the world No. 1 ranking. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

"Steffi is a great champion, she's a great person. I think she's proud of me to be the next one after her."

Wozniacki, who has slipped to 74th in the rankings while coming back from injuries, saluted Kerber.

"Obviously, she's had a great year," the Dane said. "She gets a lot of balls back. She knows how to change the pace. She gets good angles. She's playing really well."

Kerber has one unfinished piece of business - getting even with Pliskova, who beat her in last month's Cincinnati final.

"I will try to take the revenge against her," said Kerber, who holds a 4-3 career lead over the big-serving Pliskova.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2016, with the headline 'Being the new No. 1 'amazing', says Kerber'. Print Edition | Subscribe