Kerber beats Williams for first Wimbledon title | Sunday Observer

Kerber beats Williams for first Wimbledon title

Kerber celebrates victory
Kerber celebrates victory

Germany's Angelique Kerber shattered Serena Williams's dreams of an eighth Wimbledon title and record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles trophy with a 6-3, 6-3 win in the final on Saturday. It was Kerber's third title at the majors to add to her Australian Open and US Open triumphs in 2016. Serena, 36, had been attempting to win a first Grand Slam since giving birth to her daughter Olympia in September. Kerber is the first German woman to win the Wimbledon title since Steffi Graf in 1996.

The match started out on Kerber's terms. Electing to receive the opening serve, Kerber broke Williams' serve to go up 1-0. Williams was able to break Kerber's serve for the first and only time in the fourth game of the set to tie it 2-2. From then on, however, it was all Kerber. She closed out the first set by breaking Williams' last two serves, ultimately winning five games in a row.

Williams struggled on her second serve, winning it only 31 percent of the time. And while Kerber's serve wasn't dominant, it was controlled, which made all the difference. Only 65 percent of her first serves stayed in, but she won 59 percent of her second serves.

It was an incredible run for Williams, but the change in level of competition showed.

Williams didn't play a ranked player until Julia Gorges in the semifinals, where she dominated. However, Kerber wasn't going to be denied her third Grand Slam, and she's the best player Williams played all tournament. This year has been the best year of Kerber's career outside of 2016, and its peak is now becoming the first German player to win at Wimbledon.

For the 36-year-old Williams, however, there's a ton to be optimistic about. She's just 10 months removed from having a baby and it's only her second major back from a pregnancy that kept her out of tennis for more than a year. She's 9-2 in that span. One of those losses was a retirement at the French Open, and the other was in a Grand Slam final.