Serena falls to Kerber
in Wimbledon final
Arthur Kapetanakis | July 14, 2018
Serena Williams’ Wimbledon run ended with a runner-up trophy after Saturday’s final, as a stellar defensive display earned champion Angelique Kerber a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
With their anticipated start time pushed back by two hours after Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s epic five-setter spilled over three hours into Saturday, it was Kerber who started the strongest after the long wait.
After winning the toss and electing to receive, the German’s decision quickly paid off with an immediate break of serve. Williams quickly found her stride, though, and the 23-time Grand Slam champion won the three games in a row to earn a 3-2 advantage in the early going.
But set one was all Kerber from there, as the German won the next four games and clinched the set with her third break of the match.
Williams struggled on her second serve throughout, winning just one of her seven second-serve points in the 31-minute opening set.ADVERTISEMENT
In set two, the decisive break game in game six. At 15-30, a defensive masterclass from Kerber forced Williams into a difficult half-volley that she could only pop up into the midcourt. The resulting passing shot gave Kerber two break points, and she took the second to get within touching distance of her third Slam title at 4-2.
The German held her nerve to serve out the match, ending Williams' bid to match Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
Williams was the aggressor throughout, recording 23 winners and 24 unforced errors in the one-hour, five-minute final. Kerber, in stark contrast, was happy to absorb her opponent's power and ended the match with a tidy 11 winners and five unforced errors.
It was an impressive run for the 36-year-old Williams in just her fourth tournament back, and second major, since giving birth to her daughter last fall.
After she pulled out of her French Open fourth-round matchup with Maria Sharapova due to a pectoral injury, there were doubts about whether the eight-time Wimbledon champion would even play on the London grass.
But more than play, Williams made another deep run at the tournament and despite falling one match short of her ultimate goal, she has certainly proven that she is not far from her legendary best.
"It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really happy to get to the final," Williams said on court after the match, choking back tears.
"I have so much to look forward to, and I'm literally just getting started."
Williams was not the only American scheduled to take Centre Court on Saturday. The doubles pairing of Mike Bryan and Jack Sock now have their own chance at a Wimbledon title, as they battle Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in the men's doubles final in the nightcap.