Wimbledon 2016 | Serena equals Steffi Graf’s record by beating Kerber in the final

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Wimbledon 2016 | Serena equals Steffi Graf’s record by beating Kerber in the final

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Saketh RVK

07/09/2016

Serena Williams beat Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Wimbledon 2016 on Saturday, winning her 22nd Grand Slam, equaling Steffi Graf’s record. This was Serena’s seventh title at All England, and the number one seed got past a spirited Kerber in an hour and 21 minutes on Centre Court.

Serena Williams came into the match looking to equal Steffi Graf’s record 22 Grand Slams, a record she had been eyeing for a year now. Her seventh Wimbledon singles title would also mean she would have taken revenge for the loss against Kerber at the Australian Open. Angelique Kerber also had some ‘Steffi’ history to make, trying to be the first German since Steffi Graf to win at Wimbledon. She had already won her first major, at the Australian Open, and was keen to rid of the ‘one-slam wonder’ tag.

Kerber won the toss and decided to let Serena serve but could barely apply any pressure on the American after she won the opening point. Serena pocketed her service game easily, and then almost broke the German, drawing her to double fault also while on deuce. Kerber held on to make it 1-1, but the difference in serves was visible. With the set tied at 3-3, the two women put on a display of amazing tennis, with long rallies and well-placed shots. Serena went on to win the game and had 16 winners to Kerber’s 3 by then, again a reminder of the catching up the 4th seed needed to do.

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Kerber stepped up, and displayed some sturdy defense and good angles to keep herself in the match and keep the score at 5-5. Serena decided to up the ante, firing in two huge serves and an ace to go up 6-5. Kerber tightened up, sending shots wide and long, and losing the game and set to the first seed as a result.

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Kerber took her game up many notches higher in the second set, creating incredible angles and hitting unbelievable winners. She produced probably her best game of the match at 1-2, displaying her intent by stunning Serena with her repertoire of shots and winning the game. The match was turning into an exhibition of exciting tennis, with one rally at 2-2 (30-30) standing out. Both players placed their shots accurately, making the other move around desperately, and there were a few sublime cross-court shots before Serena netted the ball. Kerber went on to hold her serve and earn her first break-point of the match, but Serena held on to make it 3-3. She looked set to take Serena all the way and probably even add a second slam to her collection but Serena wanted this too bad.

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With Kerber serving at 3-4 (40-15) Serena put up on show, gameplay way above what was seen in the match so far, winning the break as the German put a backhand wide. Serving for the match, she thundered in her serves to go up 40-0. Another huge serve followed, with Serena charging to the net and closing out the match with a fore-hand volley. She collapsed to the grass in ecstasy, letting in sink the weight of her achievements. Serena Jameka Williams had won her 22nd singles Grand Slam title, her 37th overall and probably become the greatest women tennis player of all time.

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