Wimbledon: Angelique Kerber in straight-sets victory over Serena Williams

Angelique Kerber with her first Wimbledon title
Angelique Kerber with her first Wimbledon title

A comeback story was crowned with a happy ending at Wimbledon on Saturday - but it was the revitalised Angelique Kerber rather than Serena Williams who lifted the trophy.

With the Duchesses of Sussex and Cambridge in the Royal Box and Tiger Woods, Lewis Hamilton and Anna Wintour among those supporting Williams from her box, the stage seemed set for sport's most famous mother to write another remarkable chapter.

The 36-year-old was keen to stress after her semi-final victory against Julia Goerges that there was nothing normal about her being in a 30th grand slam singles final 10 months after giving birth to daughter Olympia and suffering life-threatening complications.

She went into the match as the favourite irrespective but was comprehensively outplayed by Kerber, who triumphed 6-3 6-3 in just an hour and five minutes.

Kerber was able to celebrate a third grand slam title and first since her high-flying career nosedived in a dismal 2017 season.

The 30-year-old, the first German singles champion here since her idol Steffi Graf in 1996, said: "I was quite nervous before the match. But I was trying to tell myself, 'Go out there and play your best match', because I know that against Serena I have to play my best tennis, especially in the important moments.

"I think it's just amazing. I cannot describe this feeling because when I was a kid I was always dreaming of this moment. To win Wimbledon, it's something really special in my career. I think that she did not lose the match, I won the match."

Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams embrace after Saturday's final
Kerber and Williams embrace after Saturday's final

Kerber and Williams first played in a grand slam final at the Australian Open in 2016, which the German won, before Williams got her revenge at Wimbledon.

After Kerber defeated Karolina Pliskova to lift her second slam title at the US Open later that summer and climb to world number one, it seemed Williams might have a consistent challenger at the top of the game.

Instead, the pressure of her new status and trying to back up what she had achieved crushed Kerber, and last season she won only six matches at the four slams combined.

She said: "I think without 2017 I couldn't win this tournament. I think I learned a lot from last year, with all the expectation, all the things I went through. I learned so many things about myself.

"I try to enjoy every single moment now. Also to find the motivation after 2016, which was amazing. I think to make again such a year is impossible. But now I'm just try to improve my game, thinking not too much about the results, trying to be a better tennis player, a better person."

Neither woman complained about the delayed start to their match caused by the resumption of the second men's semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, with Williams describing it as a "necessary evil".

The 36-year-old, who will rise from 181 to 28 in the rankings, was trying to equal the all-time record of 24 slam singles titles held by Margaret Court but it became evident against a player of such defensive abilities as Kerber that her footwork and resilience are, unsurprisingly, not yet back to their former levels.

Williams upped the noise and aggression levels early in the second set, nearly drilling one fearsome drive volley straight into Kerber, but the German could not be shaken out of her stride.

After losing a Wimbledon final for the first time in a decade, Williams struggled to hold back tears during her on-court interview, and said of her graciousness in defeat: "I'm just better at acting now, I guess.

"It was a great opportunity for me. I didn't know a couple of months ago where I was, where I would be, how I would do, how I would be able to come back. Itwas such a long way to see light at the end of the road.

"So I think these two weeks have really showed me that I can come out and be a contender to win grand slams. This is literally just the beginning."

Related tennis links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Baron Alco leads Frodon at Cheltenham1

Baron and Frodon do battle again

Baron Alco and Frodon - the one-two from the feature handicap at Cheltenham's November Meeting - are set to renew their rivalry this weekend.

Everton v Watford: Sporting Life's Premier League preview2

Silva to struggle against old club?

Marco Silva comes up against his former side but Watford are backed to stop their losing run and at least grab a point against Everton.

3

Daily Nap: Famous five?

After four successive winning naps - including the 10/1 Becher Chase hero - Matt Brocklebank heads to Wolverhampton for his Monday best bet.

Check out today's Paper Talk4

Paper Talk: Foden to sign new deal

Check out the latest news and gossip from the football world with Paper Talk.

Check out our preview of the day's action5

Monday's racing preview

Charlie D is Anita Chambers' best bet on Monday and she has a tip for every race at the three meetings.

Most Read

Baron Alco leads Frodon at Cheltenham1

Baron and Frodon do battle again

Baron Alco and Frodon - the one-two from the feature handicap at Cheltenham's November Meeting - are set to renew their rivalry this weekend.

Everton v Watford: Sporting Life's Premier League preview2

Silva to struggle against old club?

Marco Silva comes up against his former side but Watford are backed to stop their losing run and at least grab a point against Everton.

3

Daily Nap: Famous five?

After four successive winning naps - including the 10/1 Becher Chase hero - Matt Brocklebank heads to Wolverhampton for his Monday best bet.

Check out today's Paper Talk4

Paper Talk: Foden to sign new deal

Check out the latest news and gossip from the football world with Paper Talk.

Check out our preview of the day's action5

Monday's racing preview

Charlie D is Anita Chambers' best bet on Monday and she has a tip for every race at the three meetings.

Racing Tips

Check out our preview of the day's action

Monday's racing preview

Charlie D is Anita Chambers' best bet on Monday and she has a tip for every race at the three meetings.

Daily Nap: Famous five?

After four successive winning naps - including the 10/1 Becher Chase hero - Matt Brocklebank heads to Wolverhampton for his Monday best bet.

Chef Des Obeaux makes his chasing debut

Tuesday's racing preview

Nick Grant makes Zip his best bet at Southwell and he has a tip for every race at the three meetings in the UK.

Next Race Off

16:00 Wolverhampton
6
(5)
Kynance
J: M Harley
2
(6)
Involved
J: R Winston

Football Tips

Everton v Watford: Sporting Life's Premier League preview

Silva to struggle against old club?

Marco Silva comes up against his former side but Watford are backed to stop their losing run and at least grab a point against Everton.

The latest Sporting Life Price Boost

Sporting Life Price Boost

Monday Night Football is the 'Marco Silva derby' as Everton take on Watford. We have an exclusive first goalscorer price boost from Sky Bet.

Our best bets for Tuesday's Champions League action

Tuesday's Champions League tips

The Champions League group stages begin to conclude on Tuesday night. Tom Carnduff has found value in the stats betting.