Serena wins Wimbledon, matches Graf’s 22 grand slam titles
SERENA Williams has beaten Angelique Kerber of Germany and secured her 22nd Grand Slam title – making history by drawing her level with Steffi Graf as the joint-most successful women in tennis in the Open Era.
The Royal Box was once again packed full with a galaxy of stars who have turned out for the prestigious occasion and the opportunity to see Williams confirm her status as an all-time great.
She also netted a cool £2million in prize money, with the German runner-up earning £1million in consolation.
And Williams has another shot at success when she partners sister Venus in the women’s doubles final, which is third on Centre Court yesterday.
Williams won 7-5 6-4 in a tough-fought match that was decided by a few key points – all of which were won by the American veteran.
“It’s been very hard not to think about it,” she said when asked about her successful chase of Graf’s record.
“I had a couple of tries this year,” she added, “It makes the victory even sweeter to know how hard I worked for it.”
She then thanked the crowd profusely and expressed her delight at winning the record on a court which “feels like home” – and it’s hardly surprising she feels that way after a seventh singles title on Centre Court at SW19.
The key moments came after Kerber earned a break point against Williams at 4-4 in the second set, only for Serena to save the game with a string of aces.
And she broke immediately afterwards before serving out to love to defend her title – and match Steffi Graf’s epic grand slam singles record.
“I love playing Angelique, she’s such a great opponent,” said Serena of her opponent, “and she’s a wonderful person to be around off the court as well. Thank you for being that great person!”
The opening set was similarly well-matched, looking certain to go to a tie-break as neither player looked much like breaking the other’s serve, despite Serena earning a couple of break points.
But serving at 5-6 Kerber made a few key errors to open the door – and the American pounced, rushing the net during a big rally on break point to push the German long and then roaring in joy as Kerber’s attempt to get the ball back fell short.