Karolina Pliskova outplayed Serena Williams to reach the US Open final and bring an end to the American’s reign as world number one.
Pliskova, the Czech 10th seed, was on inspired form Thursday night as she saw off Williams 6-2 7-6 (7-5) for her maiden Grand Slam final appearance where she will face German second seed, Angelique Kerber.
Kerber, the Australian Open champion, beat Denmark’s Carolina Wozniacki 6-4 6-3 to reach her first US Open final.
As a result of the shock defeat for Serena, Kerber will now climb to the top of the rankings after the US Open.
Also, Williams, 34, will remain tied with German great Steffi Graf on 22 Open-era record major titles and the WTA record of 186 successive weeks as world number one.
“Karolina played great today,” said Williams, who revealed she had been hampered by a sore left knee since earlier in the tournament, BBC writes.
“I think if she had played any less then maybe I would have had a chance. So I think I wasn’t at 100%, but I also think she played well. She deserved to win today.”
Pliskova had thundered the most aces on the WTA this year and she came good on the night with seven and some sensational shot-making to reach a fairytale final, albeit not without help from Williams who hit 31 unforced errors, got broken three times and double faulting six, including on match point down.
“I don’t believe it,” said Pliskova, who had never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam in 17 prior attempts.
“I knew I had the chance to beat anyone if I played my game. I am excited to be in the final and to beat Serena as she is such a great champion.”
Pliskova dumped Venus Williams in round four and becomes only the fourth woman to beat both Williams sisters in the same Grand Slam tournament.