Kerber stuns Wil­liams to win Aus­tralian Open

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

An­gelique Kerber be­came the first Ger­man to win a grand slam ti­tle since her child­hood idol St­effi Graf in 1999 when she up­set world num­ber one Serena Wil­liams 6-4 3-6 6-4 to clinch the Aus­tralian Open on Satur­day.

The 34-year-old Amer­i­can had been seek­ing her sev­enth Mel­bourne Park ti­tle and 22nd over­all, which would have moved her into a tie with Graf for the most grand slam sin­gles ti­tles in the Open era. The sev­enth seeded Kerber, how­ever, was not over­awed by the oc­ca­sion of her first grand slam fi­nal, break­ing twice in the first set as Wil­liams made 23 un­forced er­rors.

Wil­liams cut down on the er­rors to send it into a third, which Kerber, who had the op­por­tu­nity to serve it out while lead­ing 5-3 only for the Amer­i­can to bat­tle back, clinched when Wil­liams hit a vol­ley long in the next game. The open­ing salvo had looked omi­nous as Wil­liams raced through the first game to love and then put pres­sure on the Ger­man, who was down 15-30 af­ter a dou­ble fault but man­aged to sup­press any demons she may have had and held on.

The 28-year-old Ger­man then played su­perb de­fen­sive ten­nis against the pow­er­ful Wil­liams, scram­bling to force her to play an ex­tra shot that ul­ti­mately con­trib­uted to 23 un­forced er­rors from the Amer­i­can in the first set.

Those er­rors and a lack of tim­ing on sev­eral po­ten­tial win­ners en­abled the Ger­man to break again in the sev­enth game and then seal the first set in 39 min­utes when Wil­liams made an­other un­forced er­ror.

The pair held serve in the open­ing two games of the se­cond set be­fore Wil­liams be­gan to get her tim­ing back and made less er­rors as she raced out to a 41 lead, though the con­cerned look she shot her sup­port­ers in the play­ers' box sug­gested she had been bat­tling to work the Ger­man out.

Wil­liams sent the match into a de­cider when Kerber hit an easy fore­hand into the net to clinch the se­cond set.

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