Robert Deutsch / USA TODAY Sports
Not that there was really any doubt left, but Angelique Kerber proved once and for all Saturday that she’s the real deal.
Her shocking Australian Open title this past winter could’ve proved a flash in the pan, an aberrant event that isn’t supported by what follows, and so gradually dims in the imagination – the way it has for Ana Ivanovic or Sam Stosur or Marin Cilic.
Not Kerber. After failing to crack a major final in her first 36 tries, her Melbourne breakthrough proved to be a springboard to one of the finest seven-month runs for any women’s player (non-Serena Williams division) this decade. At the US Open, she officially surpassed Serena for the world No. 1 ranking, and capped it all off Saturday with her second major title of the year.
US OPEN CHAMPION!!! WOW, I DID IT!!! pic.twitter.com/YpWv5A7jaM
— Angelique Kerber (@AngeliqueKerber) September 10, 2016
“All the dreams came true this year,” she said as she accepted the US Open trophy.
In her post-match press conference, Kerber was asked about that; about her frequent reference to dreams.
“I mean, I was always dreaming to one day to being No. 1 and to be in the Grand Slams,” she said.
“I knew that I have the game to beat the best players and just being patient and working really hard. And now to see that the work pays off, this is actually the best feeling. Because I was a lot of hours on the practice courts, sweating and everything, and you are just playing for this moment to being on the center court in the final and with the amazing crowd.
“So this is what I was always dreaming for. That’s why I’m talking a lot about that.”
Though she’s made all those dreams come true for herself in one dizzying season, the wide-eyed wonderment is starting to wear off, and Kerber is starting to feel comfortable with who she’s become: a two-time Slam champ and the top-ranked woman in the world.
“I don’t know if it’s unreal,” she said. “I was feeling it in Australia that everything is really unreal. But right now I think I can also enjoy it. I’m really trying to take every single moment with me, and all the positive emotions what I get now, and in the last few months.”
She’s earned every last one.