America probably hates me because I beat Venus and Serena – Karolina Pliskova
Well, I can’t speak for all Americans, but I sure don’t hate Karolina Pliskova. Then again, I’ve always had a soft spot for Czech players dating back to Ivan Lendl and Hana Mandlikova. Only Madison Keys ranks above Petra Kvitova among active players in my fandom. My current favorite doubles pair is Team Bucie, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech player Lucie Safarova. So I’ve had my eye on Karolina Pliskova long before her run to the final at the 2016 US Open. Her 6-2 7-6 (5) win over world #1 Serena Williams is a surprise. Any straight set win over Serena would be, no matter who is on the other side of the net. The point is, to hardcore women’s tennis fans…like myself…Pliskova did not come out of nowhere. She has always been known as a huge server. On this night, she actually outserved Williams, who is often said to possess the best serve ever in the women’s game. But if you saw Karolina blow through Garbine Muguruza and world #2 Angelique Kerber a few weeks ago in Cincinnati, you saw a player who has come into her own.
I called Serena the world #1. While at the moment I write this it is still true, it will no longer be so once the rankings are updated on Monday. Angelique Kerber, the Australian Open champion, Wimbledon runner-up and Olympic Silver Medalist will be the new world #1. With Angie’s 6-4 6-3 win over Caroline Wozniacki in the other US Open womens’s singles semifinal, she will do no worse than runner-up at the US Open and could add the title to her impressive 2016 resume. However, Pliskova handled Kerber easily in Cincinnati. Of course, there wasn’t the pressure of winning a Major in that final. Angie has dealt with and overcome the weight of a Major final. Karolina Pliskova seems like a laid back, chill kind of young woman. Still, we’ll see if she keeps her composure as well as she did against Serena.
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10 KAROLINA PLISKOVA d. 1 Serena Williams, 6-2 7-6 (5)