Then, in the second semifinal, Kerber went out and defeated the former No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to Saturday’s US Open final. The Women’s Tennis Association confirmed in a statement posted on its website that Kerber would be the new No. 1, when it publishes the new rankings on Monday.
“Congratulations to Angelique on this remarkable accomplishment of becoming the WTA World No.1,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said. “It is extremely difficult to reach the pinnacle of our sport, and Angelique has demonstrated amazing work ethic in the past year. Her outstanding results reflect this, and she truly deserves to be the new WTA World No.1.” .
“It’s just incredible. It’s a great day,” Kerber said in the on-court interview after her semifinal victory. “To be here in the final for the first time, that means a lot. To be No. 1 in the world, it sounds amazing.”
Kerber, who won her first Grand Slam by beating Williams in the final of the Australian Open back in January, will be just the second German to reach the top of the women’s rankings after Steffi Graff. Williams beat Kerber in the women’s final at Wimbledon.
“For me, it’s just amazing to be after Steffi the next No. 1 player in Germany,” said Kerber, who at 28 will also be the oldest player to reach the top of the rankings.
“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 like Kerber, has Polish roots and is a personal friend, was complimentary in her post-match interview.
“Obviously, she’s had a great year,” Wozniacki said. “She gets a lot of balls back. She knows how to change the pace. She gets good angles. She’s playing really well.”
The fact that Kerber is set to go to No. 1 next week, also happens to mean that Graf (pictured) will continue to hold the record for most consecutive weeks as the top-ranked player, at 186, a record she shares with Williams, who was hobbled by a sore knee in her semifinal against Pliskova.
Williams and Graf also share the record of 22 career Grand Slam singles titles.
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