Angelique Kerber walked off with more than a 6-4, 6-3 U.S. Open semifinal win over Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday night.
Combined with Serena Williams’ loss, Kerber will be the No. 1 player in the world when the rankings come out on Monday. Williams had been No. 1 for 186 consecutive weeks, tying her for the longest reign atop the rankings ladder with Steffi Graf. Kerber will be the 22nd player to be No. 1 since the rankings began, and the second German behind Graf.
“It’s just incredible, a great day,” Kerber said. “To be here in final is incredible. To be No. 1 in the world, it sounds amazing.”
Kerber won the Australian Open in January, beating Williams in the final for her first Grand Slam title. She was upset in the first round of the French Open but made the final at Wimbledon, where she lost to Williams. Now in her third Grand Slam final of the year, she will face Pliskova, who beat her in Cincinnati, tomorrow for the title.
“I will try take revenge against her,” said Kerber, giddy with emotion. “She has a big serve and I know how she’s playing and she’s playing very well.”
To do something that countrywoman Graf had done lit up Kerber. “To be the No. 1 player [as a German],” she said, “I think she would be proud of me.”
The unseeded Wozniacki had an injury-plagued season in which she fell to No. 74 in the world. The Open is where she’s had her greatest success, and finally healthy, she made her fifth semifinal here.