Pliskova halts Kerber in her tracks for Cincinnati title

By Ros Satar, in Cincinnati

  • Karolina Pliskova [15] def. Angelique Kerber [2] 6-3 6-1
  • Serena Williams keeps the World No. 1 spot for now
CINCINNATI, USA – Karolina Pliskova put a dent in Angelique Kerber’s bid to take the World No. 1 spot with a commanding straight sets win over the World No. 2 in straight sets.

 

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From the get go, Pliskova was in complete control, much as she had been throughout the tournament, Her serving arm was once more in fine fettle as she clobbered huge serves, and smacked groundies with seemingly endless power.

She admitted that she is not the one that should be running, and she made good on her promise by putting Kerber through the ringer and making the German dash around.

It has been a long and exhausting post Wimbledon summer for Kerber. Earlier in the week she admitted that the privilege of going deeper into tournaments and having match play instead of practice days from having gone out early was a good position to be in, but it looked as though time had caught up with her.

Kerber said, after the match: “She played really well with and she really hits the ball from the first point. She was trying to making me [move]. I don’t know how the week was because I’m really tired actually to be honest.

“I think today was really that I was trying to pushing myself and trying to still giving everything what’s left actually. I give everything on court today.

“She played a good match and she played a good week, so she deserved it at the end. It was for sure not the best tennis I played, but for the day today, everything was fine.”

Taking her two match sojourn to Bastad out of the equation, she made the semi-finals of Montreal, the final of the Olympics and now the final here – that is a lot of tennis up ahead of perhaps a great chance to try once more for the No. 1.

But ever the same, she tried not to put that additional pressure on herself. For example – she only made the third round of the US Open last year, but like many players refuses to see each year’s tournament as a challenge to defend the points.

She added: “I’m never thinking about points. I’m going to the tournaments. I know how I played last year, but I’m not counting points. I’m not going there to defend points. It’s never this thing, because that was never my thinking to going there and counting points or whatever.

“I’m going there to play good tennis again. I remember my match last year against Azarenka where I played really good. It was a great match from both of us. So New York is one of my favourite tournaments. Everything starts there for me. That’s why it’s really special to go there again and being there and trying to go as far as I can.”

If Kerber had a sense of swagger at least in the run up to the final walk-on, Pliskova has been playing outstanding tennis this week, as she claimed her biggest title yet.

Seeing the ball huge, hitting cleanly, she took the battle to Kerber, and played her at her own game, forcing her to do the running.

She said, after the match: “It’s the biggest final what I’ve ever played, but obviously I played few. I played actually few against her, so I knew how is it to play her in the final. I lost twice and I was really close to win both of them, so I knew I’m really close this time again.

“Even with my game I was playing some good tennis this week. I knew if I can play at least what I played last matches I have a good chance to win. I don’t know how she felt, how was the — I mean the pressure on her because of the world No. 1. She had a good chance I think and she beat me few times, so I think maybe she thought it’s going to be a little bit easier than it was. But I started really well, and she was even probably mentally down and physically as well because she had to run a lot.”

The US Open starts on 29 August.

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