Fri, Sep 9, 3:16pm by Bren O'Brien
No matter who wins the US Open women’s final on Sunday morning (AEST) we will be hailing a new era in women’s tennis.
Regardless of the result, Angelique Kerber will move above Serena Williams in the world No.1 ranking, ending Williams’ 186-week streak at the top after Karolina Pliskova caused a massive upset in the semis.
Pliskova became just the eighth woman to defeat both Serena and Venus Williams in the same Grand Slam tournament, defeating Serena in straight sets as a $5.75 outsider to advance to her first Grand Slam final.
In fact, a week ago, Pliskova, seeded tenth, had not made it past the third round in a Grand Slam, but she has continued her imperious form from her recent title win in Cincinnati.
At that tournament, she defeated three Top 10 players in a row, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Garbiñe Muguruza and in the final, the woman she faces next, Kerber.
Despite that result, Kerber goes into the final as $1.53 favourite, with a 4-3 head-to-head record against the Czech.
Pliskova, the $2.52 outsider, won that Cincinnati final surprisingly easily and was able to constantly put pressure on Kerber’s serve to defy the odds, which had her at $2.67 ahead of that match. There is a 13cm size difference between the giant Czech and the athletic German.
She goes into the biggest match of her life on an 11-match winning streak, and as the first woman from her country to make the final at Flushing Meadows since Helena Sukova in 1993. She would be the fourth different Grand Slam champion on 2016.
Kerber’s ascension to the top of the tennis rankings is well deserved. She won the Australian Open, beating Serena, and made the finals of both Wimbledon and the Olympics.
For much of this year, she has looked the woman most likely to take Serena’s crown, and a second Grand Slam title would be a fitting way to cap that achievement.
She has not dropped a set on route to the final, defeating last year’s finalist Robert Vinci in the quarters before handling the resurgence of Caroline Wozniacki with aplomb in the semis. The match took just 86 minutes and she gave Wozniacki very few opportunities to break her, losing just 18 of 48 points on serve for the match.
The 28-year-old left-hander looks at the top of her game, meaning Pliskova will have to lift to another level after her career-best performance in the semis.
With that in mind, we think Kerber, who we tipped as the best value pre-tournament, should prove too strong.
US Open Women’s Final: Sportsbet Market
Ka Pliskova $2.52 v A Kerber $1.53
Ka Pliskova 2-0 $4.00
A Kerber 2-0 $2.25
Ka Pliskova 2-1 $5.00
A Kerber 2-1 $4.00
To Win 1st Set
Ka Pliskova $2.27
A Kerber $1.58
Total Match Games
Under (21.5) $1.90
Over (21.5) $1.80
Ka Pliskova (+2.5) $2.00
A Kerber (-2.5) $1.72
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