Final a bridge too far for Serena
● Angelique Kerber became the first German woman to win Wimbledon for 22 years as the 11th seed shattered Serena Williams’ bid for grand slam history with a shock 6-3 6-3 victory in yesterday’s final.
Kerber avenged her defeat against Williams in the 2016 Wimbledon title match, overwhelming the seven-time champion.
“I knew I had to play my best tennis against a champion like Serena,” Kerber said. “It was my second chance to play in the final. I think I’m the next one after Steffi who won. That’s amazing.” Williams had hoped to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles titles by winning her first major since becoming a mother in September.
The 36-year-old, who last won a grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open, went into the final as the favourite, even though she was playing only the fourth tournament of her post-pregnancy comeback.
But instead world No 10 Kerber became Germany’s first female champion at the All England Club since Steffi Graf in 1996.
“It’s obviously disappointing but I am just getting started,” said an emotional Williams after losing in the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2008.
“For all you mums out there I was playing for you. I really tried.” Graf helped Kerber get her game on track earlier in her career, so it was especially sweet for the 30-year-old to follow in her footsteps at Wimbledon.
Kerber endured a significant slump last year after winning her previous major titles at the Australian and US Opens in 2016.
But, back to her best on the grass at Wimbledon, she needed only 11 winners and one ace to deny an oddly nervous Serena, who contributed to her own downfall with a whopping 24 unforced errors, compared to only five from Kerber. In the first Wimbledon final for 41 years to feature two women 30 or older, Serena was cheered on by the Duchess of Sussex, golf legend Tiger Woods and Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton.
Left needing several life-saving operations to deal with the threat of blood clots after giving birth, Williams was unable to walk for six weeks and even now is haunted by harrowing flashbacks to that period.
Serena’s 30th grand slam final got off to a rocky start as she dropped her serve with four unforced errors in the opening game.
Play had started two hours late due to the conclusion of Novak Djokovic’s win over Rafael Nadal in the men’s semifinals, and it was Serena who looked more affected by the delay. She briefly hit back, breaking to love in the fourth game, but then produced another error-strewn effort, including two double faults, to gift a 4-3 lead to Kerber.
Though Williams was on a 20-match winning run at Wimbledon and had lost only one set en route to the final, she was completely out of sorts, spraying wild ground-strokes wide time and again. Kerber, cleverly moving Serena into awkward positions, took full advantage.
For all you mums out there I was playing for you. I really tried
Beaten Wimbledon finalist
Germany's Angelique Kerber poses with the winner's trophy, the Venus Rosewater Dish, after her women's singles final victory over US player Serena Williams.