Playing her first Grand Slam final, Angelique Kerber was calm and collected, with peaceful inner strength, and in combination with superb level of tennis the German managed to beat world No.1 Serena Williams, who had never before lost an Australian Open final and she played as much as six, including last year.
The defending champion opened the match by holding to love, but she dropped her following serve and Kerber was the first to go up a break, 3-1. However, we know that Serena needs some time to warm up and in the middle of the set the players were again even, 3-3. In the seventh game, Kerber again broke Serena’s serve and three games later the set was hers, as she even held her serve in the tenth game without losing a point. When it comes to unforced errors, statistics are incomparable, as Kerber hit just three to Williams’ 23! As for winners, Kerber recorded four, Serena 12.
The second set was the most straightforward and shortest one. In the fourth game Serena went 40-0 on Kerber’s serve and she converted her third break point to go up 3-1. That early-established lead proved to be crucial for this set, as all the other games were holds.
The decider was a thrilling affair from start to finish. Kerber started out really strong, by breaking Serena to love in the second game to lead 2-0. That advantage quickly melted away, as Serena broke back for 2-2. The sixth game was another big battle, as after five deuces Kerber converted her fourth break point to go up 4-2. The fight included a wonderful and brave dropshot by Kerber, who opted for the risky move when Serena had an Ad-40 lead in the game.
After relatively calm two games, at 5-3 it was time for Kerber to serve for the Australian Open title! Whether those were nerves, or Serena’s always-lurking resurgence, Kerber dropped that service game and at that moment I thought that the victory might even slip through her hands. It’s Serena on the other side of the net and such chances are hard to earn, so when you waste them, you can say goodbye to your victory. But Kerber’s determination was not shaken and she was so ready to lift the trophy that she merged her best tennis with courage to break back right away and win the big title on her first match point! Score: 6-4 3-6 6-4.
Kerber’s story is even bigger when you know that she saved a match point in her first-rounder against Misaki Doi. Also, Kerber will now rise to No.2 in the rankings!
In case you’d now like to refresh your memory of the fortnight behind us, check out our Australian Open 2016 photos, taken by our amazing photographer Jimmie48:
- Wednesday, January 27th: Angerlique Kerber and Johanna Konta make the semifinals
- Tuesday, January 26th: Serena makes it 19 against Sharapova
- Monday, January 25th: Azarenka & Zhang move on
- Sunday, January 24th: Sharapova & Serena set up quarterfinal clash
- Saturday, January 23rd: Muguruza & Ivanovic drop out
- Friday, January 22nd: Sharapova & Serena enter the fourth round
- Thursday, January 21th: Siegemund & Zhang continue miracle runs + photos of many WTA stars
- Wednesday, January 20th: Sharapova & Serena move on, Kvitova out
- Tuesday, January 19th: First round wraps up, Simona Halep and Venus Williams crash out
- Monday, January 18th: Main draw play kicks off, Day 1
- Saturday, January 16th: Final stage of qualifying + Kids Day + Williams and Sharapova press conferences
- Friday, January 15th: Draw ceremony, player practices and qualifying action
- Thursday, January 14th: Women’s qualifying action kicks off
- Wednesday, January 13th: Stars practice in scorching temperatures
- Tuesday, January 12th: Melbourne warming up for the big event, player practices