Williams beats Kerber to claim seventh Wimbledon and equal Graf's record
Serena Williams swept past Angelique Kerber in straight sets on Saturday to claim the Wimbledon crown for the seventh time and her 22nd major singles title. The 34-year-old American won 7-5 6-3 with an exhibition of ferocious serving and bludgeoning ground strokes.
Williams latest triumph equals the singles haul of the German Steffi Graf and is two victories behind Margaret Court’s all time record.
"It's been incredibly difficult not to think about the record,” said Williams during her on court interview. “It makes the victory even sweeter to know how hard I worked hard for it. This court definitely feels like home."
Kerber could not force a break point on Williams’s serve in the first set. And her own delivery eventually cracked when she was trying to level at 6-6 in the opener.
It was the same story in the second set. The German levered an opening at 3-3 but Williams fired down an ace to stem any thoughts of advancement.
She held to lead 4-3. Kerber then faltered to allow Williams the chance to serve for the title. The American gleefully accepted the invitation.
After the win, tributes poured in from past and present champions. “Huge congratulations to @serenawilliams on a majestic performance to take her 7th #Wimbledon title,” tweeted the 1987 men’s champion Pat Cash. “Just amazing! A ture (sic) champion.”
Petra Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion, tweeted: “Congratulations @serenawilliams! #legend #22.”
Kim Clijsters added: “Congratulations to the best ever! Serena Williams! Amazing achievement.”
Despite her defeat, Kerber moves back up to second in the world rankings. It is the 20th time the number two spot has changed hands since Williams moved top of the rankings in February 2013.
Williams’s 22 includes six US Opens, three French Opens and six Australian Opens. Her first Wimbledon title came in 2002 when she beat her sister, Venus, 7-6 6-3. In the men’s event, Lleyton Hewitt enjoyed a straight sets win over David Nalbandian.
Hewitt, who turned 35 in February, is seven months older than Serena Williams and retired from the singles circuit in January after the Australian Open.
Williams shows no sign of following her erstwhile contemporary into the sunset.
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