Angelique Kerber Overwhelms Serena Williams to Win Australian Open

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

No. 7 Angelique Kerber outplayed No. 1 Serena Williams to win the Australian Open, her first Grand Slam title in her first appearance in a Grand Slam final. The win pushes her to No. 2 in the world.

The loss means Williams still needs one more Grand Slam to tie Stefi Graff’s record 22.

Kerber, down match point in the first round, owned the match from start to finish. Williams showed signs of life every now and then, but committed too many unforced errors and Kerber happily capitalized on them: weak serves, hesitation to play the net, and all court play.

“I was with one leg in the plane for Germany,” she cried. “I take my chance to be here in the final and play against Serena. My dream come true tonight, on this night. My whole life I was winning so hard and now I can say that I’m a Grand Slam champion… it sounds so crazy.

Williams gained back her serve in the first set, but could not stop the errors. She could not move her feet, almost as if cement glued them to the court. Kerber flowed delicately from corner to corner, never giving up a shot to earn a point.

Vintage Serena arose in the second set, breaking Kerber and performing superb first serves. Momentum appeared on Williams’s side, but Kerber would not go down.

“Breaking of the Serves” describe the third set. Kerber broke Williams, but Williams went back on serve almost immediately. However, she lost it again after a dramatic 16-point sixth game. Nerves showed in Kerber, who failed to serve for the match at 5-3.

Nerves rattled Williams who could not even the match. On a long forehand, Kerber won the match.

Williams immediately walked over to congratulate Kerber. With a huge smile, Williams beamed as she held Kerber.

“You did so well, let me be the first to congratulate you,” said Williams when she accepted her trophy. “You truly played so well in the moment.”

Williams continued her appreciation for Kerber at the press conference.

“No, I was actually really happy for her,” gushed Williams, adding:

She’s been around a really long time. We’ve had a number of matches. I’ve beaten her a lot. She played so well today. She had an attitude that I think a lot of people can learn from: just to always stay positive and to never give up. I was really inspired by that. So, honestly, she’s a really good girl. If I couldn’t win, I’m happy she did.

Kerber becomes the first German woman to win the Australian Open since her idol Steffi Graf in 1994.


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