Wawrinka, Kerber Step Out from US Open Shadows
These Grand Slam victories were not necessarily surprises.
They were more like the gradual approach of an incoming tide.
Back in January, Angelique Kerber realized the fruits of a long, grinding career by finally toppling Serena Williams and claiming a Slam title in the Australian Open.
Kerber's been slugging it out her whole career. That's what she does: grind it until she gets an opening.
It's not that easy against powerful talents such as the Williams sisters, but it definitely prepared her for another big hitter of slightly less caliber in Karolína Plíšková:
That highlighted Kerber's 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 triumph, which in turn, elevated her to the WTA's No 1 ranking.
Ironically, an injury factored into Djokovic's demise in the final.
Dude got to the semifinals due to a walkover and two opponents retiring due to injury. This time, the shoe, as it were, was on the other foot, as he twice required a medical timeout to have trainers evaluate his blistered big toe.
However, Djokovic played down the ouchies and flatly stated that Wawrinka controlled his nerves better than he did.
Not a bad way to end the year for both Kerber and Wawrinka.