Angelique Kerber, US Open 2016, Karolina Pliskova, WTA rankings, Serena Williams, Kerber US Open, Kerber Australian Open, Rio Olympics 2016, Kerber Rio Olympics
Angelique Kerber says she is ready to step up her game and shoulder the pressure of being the top-ranked tennis player in the world.
Kerber followed her climb to the top of Women's Tennis Association rankings by clinching the 2016 US Open title on Saturday. The second seed defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the final to win her second grand slam.
The 28-year-old had the opportunity to displace Serena Williams from the number one position when she took on the Czech player in the final of the Cincinnati Masters in August 2016. But a defeat in the final hampered her chances and extended the American's stay at the top.
However, with a good run in the ongoing US Open, the German gave herself another chance to become the best. Pliskova cleared the road ahead for the champion when she defeated Serena in the semi-final on Thursday.
Kerber began her 2016 season beating the 22-time grand slam winner in the Australian Open to earn her first majors title. She suffered a first round exit at the French Open but made it to the finals of the Wimbledon only to go down fighting against Serena. A silver medal in the singles category at the 2016 Rio Olympics asserted Kerber had announced her arrival on the big stage.
Having won at New York, the left-hander believes she will be challenged hard by her opponents in the future.
"Now everybody will try to beat me and have nothing to lose. I will try to take this challenge, because it will be a little bit new situation for me. But at the end, I was always practicing and working hard to being number one," Kerber was quoted as saying by US Open's official website.
"I was always dreaming to be number one and to be in the grand slams. I am not 18, so I was always trying to improving my game. I knew that I have the game to beat the best players. I was just being patient and was working really hard. And now to see that the work pays off, this is actually the best feeling."
With two grand slam titles in 2016, Kerber has posed stiff challenges to Serena in the recent past. The American, after winning three majors in 2015, hasn't been able to come up with similar performances in the ongoing season.
Speaking of the American great, Kerber said: "Serena, for me, is one of the best players in the world. She is a great person and a great champion. So, I mean, what she did for the sport, it's just incredible. For me, I'm trying to go my own way and trying to enjoy now every single moment with my second grand slam."