Starkville Daily News - - SCORE­CARD -

LON­DON — An­gelique Ker­ber was not about to be over­whelmed by the set­ting or the stakes in this Wim­ble­don fi­nal. She knew ex­actly what to ex­pect — and what to do — against Ser­ena Wil­liams.

Two years af­ter los­ing to Wil­liams with a ti­tle on the line at Cen­tre Court , Ker­ber came through. So steady, so pa­tient, so ac­cu­rate through­out, she never re­ally gave Wil­liams much of a chance this time, putting to­gether a 6-3, 6-3 vic­tory Sat­ur­day for her first cham­pi­onship at the All Eng­land Club and third ma­jor over­all.

"I think it's the ex­pe­ri­ence. You have to go through all the things — the good things, the bad things — and then you need to learn," said Ker­ber, the first Ger­man to win Wim­ble­don since St­effi Graf in 1996.

"I know that against Ser­ena, I have to play my best ten­nis, es­pe­cially in the im­por­tant mo­ments," said Ker­ber, who won the Aus­tralian Open and U.S. Open in 2016, but was the run­ner-up to Wil­liams at Wim­ble­don that sea­son, "es­pe­cially in the im­por­tant mo­ments." That's just what she did. "An­gelique played re­ally well," Wil­liams said. "She played out of her mind."

Ker­ber made only five un­forced er­rors the en­tire match, 19 fewer than Wil­liams. Per­haps more im­pres­sive was this: She broke Wil­liams in 4 of 9 ser­vice games.

In do­ing so, Ker­ber pre­vented Wil­liams from claim­ing an eighth ti­tle at Wim­ble­don and 24th from all Grand Slam tour­na­ments , which would have equaled Mar­garet Court's record. As things stand, Wil­liams holds the mark for the half-cen­tury of pro­fes­sional ten­nis, one ahead of Ker­ber's idol, Graf.

Wil­liams gave birth only 10 1/2 months ago, then was treated for blood clots . She wore spe­cial com­pres­sion leg­gings as a pre­cau­tion dur­ing Wim­ble­don, just the fourth tour­na­ment of her come­back.

Af­ter all the time away, Wil­liams spoke about be­ing im­pressed with her­self for just reach­ing the fi­nal. She also wanted to win, of course.

"To all the moms out there, I was play­ing for you to­day — and I tried," said the 36-year-old Amer­i­can, her voice shak­ing dur­ing the tro­phy cer­e­mony.

Ker­ber ad­dressed Wil­liams dur­ing the on-court in­ter­views, say­ing: "You're such an in­spi­ra­tion for ev­ery­body, for all of us. I'm sure you will have your next Grand Slam ti­tle soon. I'm re­ally, re­ally sure."

The fi­nal started more than two hours late, be­cause they had to wait for the end of No­vak Djokovic's five-set vic­tory over Rafael Nadal in a men's semi­fi­nal that was sus­pended the night be­fore. To­day, Djokovic will play Kevin An­der­son, who won his semi­fi­nal against John Is­ner 26-24 in the fifth set Fri­day night. Hous­ton High School. The early re­turns on Ad­kins are very good as Trus­sell told the coach to build a pro­gram in his own im­age.

“Coach Ad­kins is young and en­er­getic and he's a player's coach," Trus­sell said. "I told him the most im­por­tant thing is to build his pro­gram right and take his time. Our fo­cus is to build a pro­gram from the mid­dle school all the way up and I feel coach Ad­kins will get it done.”

Trus­sell is not only try­ing to make sure things are done the right way in the ath­let­ics de­part­ment, his goal is for the en­tire school to pros­per and walk in the right di­rec­tion.

One of the ideas he's got­ten be­hind with SOCSD

Su­per­in­ten­dent Ed­die Peas­ant is the im­ple­men­ta­tion of drug test­ing next year. The pol­icy hasn't been ap­proved by the board, but Trus­sell said he hopes it goes through for those in grades 9-12 as it gives stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to say, ‘no' to drugs and to in­ter­vene if their friends are in­volved.

On the fa­cil­ity land­scape, Trus­sell said im­prove­ments are hope­ful across the board.

The short term projects have been get­ting cheer­lead­ers new tum­bling pads, the up­grades to the ten­nis courts on cam­pus and ma­chines for ten­nis play­ers, bas­ket­ball shoot­ing equip­ment and soft­ball hit­ting cages with LED light­ing for night-time prac­tices. Long term projects in­clude a so­lu­tion

on the fu­ture of the bas­ket­ball gym, golf cages for rainy af­ter­noon prac­tices and a po­ten­tial video board for the foot­ball field.

Trus­sell said that the field land­scap­ing has got­ten a ma­jor up­grade since for­mer foot­ball coach and cur­rent hor­ti­cul­ture teacher Randy Carlisle has been as­signed du­ties as the ath­letic field con­sul­tant. Trus­sell is also ex­cited about for­mer foot­ball as­sis­tant and cur­rent archery coach Tate Fis­cher, who has taken the spot of head of event oper­a­tions.

A large part of Fis­cher's work will come dur­ing foot­ball sea­son, which is right around the cor­ner. Trus­sell an­nounced the ad­di­tion of field mi­cro­phones for ref­er­ees at this year's foot­ball games as well as a less-con­gested con­ces­sion

area as sev­eral ven­dors will of­fer the op­por­tu­nity to buy in the stands.

If fans are in­ter­ested in buy­ing sea­son tick­ets and/or a park­ing pass, those go on sale on Au­gust 1.

On the whole, Trus­sell counts his first school year as a com­plete suc­cess and is look­ing for­ward to the next step this year. He's driven by the All Sports Award, which Starkville con­tends for ev­ery sea­son in Class 6A. This past year saw them fall out of the top 10, some­thing that has Trus­sell push­ing for more in 2018-19.

“That's some­thing that we want to be in the top five ev­ery year," Trus­sell said. "We're shoot­ing for num­ber one. We've iden­ti­fied ways that we can im­prove and now we're ex­cited about the up­com­ing year.”

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