by: Nima Naderi
After a comprehensive win against all-time great Serena Williams in the semifinals, Karolina Pliskova continues her sizzling summer after winning the title in Cincinnati. Reaching her first-career Major final, Pliskova will have to dig deep one more time to upset new world No. 1 Angie Kerber in the finals. To Kerber’s credit, the German has kept her head down and mowed through the tough NYC field. Reaching the finals of her third Grand Slam in 2016, Kerber has without question deserved the No. 1 ranking. Will the German claim her second Major on Saturday and begin her reign as the world’s top player in style, or will Pliskova have one final upset left in her memorable fortnight?
Let’s now have a look at the match up itself.
Angelique Kerber vs. Karolina Pliskova
Playing on seven previous occasions, Kerber currently owns a slight 4-3 head-to-head lead, but as we all remember their last match in Cincinnati was one-way traffic for Pliskova. There’s no doubt that Kerber was feeling the strain of playing the Rio final the week before and Pliskova was the fresher of the two on that day. But when you continue to look at their previous matches, it’s clear to see that Kerber has always had a lot of trouble with Karolina’s game, and Saturday should be no different. If we’re being perfectly honest, the chances of Pliskova reaching another Grand Slam final will be slim. Her game is not very high percentage and if she’s a little off, she’s nowhere near the level that she is now. That said, I think she will bring everything she has to this match and pose a real threat to the title. Karolina certainly has more power and her current belief is right up there with anyone after defeating both Serena and Venus en-route to the finals. However, Kerber is the craftier of the two players and does possess the angles to offset Pliskova’s power. As it stands right now, I’m leaning toward a Kerber three set victory, with the German dropping the second set. Simply put: Kerber has too much experience at this stage of a Major to let it slip away.