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.
Wawrinka's been stalking Novak Djokovic for three years, gradually honing a strategy that prevailed this summer in the French 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.
Not a bad way to end the year. For either of them.