Germany’s Angelique Kerber captured her third career Grand Slam and maiden Wimbledon title 6-3 6-3 against the legendary Serena Williams on Saturday. Kerber, the 30 year old world #10 who had previously lost the 2016 final, roared to life in the 2018 final. Kerber made Serena look sluggish winning more than 2/3rds of her service points, particularly doing well on the second serve, and also breaking Serena 4 times in the match, compared to just a lone break for Williams.
The opening set saw Kerber break in the opening game, and despite losing that break, she would break back consecutively for 4-3 and 6-3 to take the set, all while locking her down serve. A sluggish Serena pushed a bit more in set 2 but was broken to go 4-2 down, and following a pair of holds, Kerber served for the match, and despite clearly feeling the tension, she maintained her nerve, as Serena’s errors cost her the match.
At the conclusion of the final both players were incredibly gracious towards one another, with Serena more or less showing she wasn’t near her best but gave it her all regardless, and Kerber giving credit to Williams for her comeback and all of her career accomplishments. There did also not appear to be any tension regarding the controversial delay of the women’s final for the completion of the second men’s semifinal between Djokovic and Nadal.
Serena, who had played well up until this point, did not play a clean and effective match in the final. She struggled with her movement, and her serve, as evidence by the fact she lost 4 of 9 service games and just 34% of return points, while also firing 24 errors. For Serena, surpassing Margaret Court (24 grand slam titles) and making more history at Wimbledon will have to wait, despite that she still had an amazing run given her return from pregnancy just a few weeks previously.
Kerber is the first German women’s singles champion in more than 2 decades at Wimbledon (Steffi Graf 1996), her composed, confident game got her the result and should help propel her into the upcoming summer hard court season. Kerber, who was formerly world #1, will have the opportunity to make a push for that spot again with coach Wim Fissette by her side. Kerber is now behind only Serena and Venus Williams, and Maria Sharapova for career Grand Slam titles among active WTA players.
The first three Grand Slams of the year in women’s singles have been won by three different European women. Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark (Australian Open), Simona Halep of Romania (French Open), and Kerber (Germany), each making their own history after relatively long and successful careers on the WTA tour.