New No 1. Kerber takes home U.S Open Trophy. Wawrinka wins third grand slam
It has been quite the year for Angelique Kerber. She started the year beating Serena Williams for the Australian Open title then she made it to the Wimbledon final losing to Serena. Next Kerber went to Rio where she took home a silver medal. Now she leaves New York not only as the U.S. Open champion but as the new world number one. Angelique Kerber defeated Karolina Pliskova, who stunned Serena Williams in the semifinals, in a three set thriller (6-3.4-6,6-4) to take home the title and her second grand slam of the year. Kerber entered the women’s final knowing she would be the top player on the WTA after Serena lost her semifinal match.
On the men’s side Stan Wawrinka proved he is a force to be reckoned with by defeating world number one Novak Djokovic and taking home his third grand slam title. Wawrinka and Djokovic played in a very competitive four set match (5-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3), that saw extended rallies and punishing groundstrokes from both players. It was so taxing Novak had to call the trainer twice, once right before Stan was to serve, a move tennis commentators thought was gamesmanship and the other time during a changeover. But both stoppages would not derail Stan from hitting timely serves when facing break points and coming with up with incredible winners from all over the court. Stan is now just a Wimbledon title from joining his active peers, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, from boasting a career slam.
The U.S. Open started out pretty routine with only a few top players on going out (Muguruza on the women’s side and Rafael Nadal on the men’s side). But suffice to say the tournament became a bit more bizarre the second week. One particular player who would be able to back that statement is finalist Novak Djokovic. Novak made it to the semis of the Open by having to play only two completed matches. In three of his matches, he received either a walkover or a retirement. The semis were also a bit strange for Novak because of the unique tactics of Frenchmen Gael Monfils. In the match Monfils used the strategy of tanking (giving up) in the third set only to fight his way back and win the set. Monfils lost the match in four sets.
The upsets, although are a bit common in the tennis scene, also turned the U.S. Open upside down. Andy Murray, who was having a dominant summer, winning Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal, seemed a lock for, at least, the U.S. Open final. Andy had already made the first three slams of the year. Murray won the first two sets against Japan’s Kei Nishikori but in an unexpected twist lost the next three sets
On the women’s side, Serena, as always, was expected to take home the trophy. There were some questions about the health of Williams, specifically her shoulder, before the tournament began. But Serena quickly swatted those questions away in dominant performances leading her to the quarterfinals. After getting through a tough quarterfinal against Romanian Simona Halep, Serena looked for sure ready to take home her seventh U.S. Open. However, Serena ran into Karolina Pliskova, a player who has an equally powerful and efficient serve. Serena was only to break Pliskova just once in the i match and that was not enough for win. With her win over Serena, Pliskova became only the fourth player to defeat both Williams sisters in the same grand slam (Pliskova took out Venus in the fourth round, in a close three set match).
With all that said it still turned out to be an incredible tournament. Both the men’s and women’s finals were close matches that were filled with tons of quality points. At the end players who weren’t the favorites emerged and show why tennis players play. It was a fitting end for the final grand slam of the year.