Angelique Kerber is plotting revenge on her friend Karolina Pliskova to celebrate becoming world number one by winning her US Open title
Angelique Kerber is plotting revenge over her friend Karolina Pliskova to celebrate becoming world number one by winning her first US Open title on Saturday.
Serena Williams' 186-week stay at the top of the rankings finally came to an end after she was sensationally beaten 6-2 7-6 (7-5) by 10th seed Pliskova at Flushing Meadows before Kerber got the better of Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday.
A 6-4 6-3 semi-final victory for Kerber ensured the German will be able to call herself the best female tennis player on the planet when the new rankings are released on Monday.
For now, though, the 28-year-old can focus on her third grand slam final of the year and her first without the legendary Williams on the other side of the net.
Australian Open champion Kerber, who lost to Williams in the final at Wimbledon in July, missed out on climbing to the top of the rankings when she lost to the powerful Pliskova at the Cincinnati Masters three weeks ago.
And the left-hander feels she has a score to settle at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"I remember the Cincinnati final. I was actually really tired because I came from Rio [Olympic Games] and I had a lot of tough matches there," Kerber said.
"Here I have one day off [on Friday] so I can really prepare for the final against Pliskova. I know how she is playing. I know she has a big serve.
"I will go out there trying to get my next chance against her and take revenge, of course."
Kerber said she will learn the lessons from her loss to the Czech, who has won 11 matches in a row and had never been beyond the third round of a major before arriving in New York.
"For sure she has a lot of confidence, now especially after the win against Serena. She will go out there and try and win her first grand slam, but at the end I will try the same," said Kerber.
"I know it will be very tough mentally for me also because she knows that she won against me a few weeks ago.
"But at the end I know how I was playing in Cincinnati. I know what to change. I will talk with my coach about the game and I will try to take the challenge again against her."
Pliskova will become the fourth different female grand slam winner this year if she can stun Kerber and the 24-year-old said she is not finished yet after denying Williams a 23rd major title.
Asked about the prospect of facing Kerber, she said: "We played a lot of times. I lost to her... I won. So I will be ready for anything. It's a final of a grand slam, so anything is possible. Of course, there will probably be nerves from both sides. We both have a good chance to win.
"I will just do anything to win the title here."