Now only the French Open stands between Angie Kerber and a career Grand Slam.
On Saturday the German stopped Serena Williams from tying the Grand Slam record in only her second Slam back after the birth of her first child, beating the American 6-3, 6-3.
“I was quite nervous before the match,” Kerber said. “But I was trying to told myself, go out there and play your best match, because I know that against Serena I have to play my best tennis, especially in the important moments. At the end I was quite starting to being quite nervous. I knew that I had to take my first chance because you never know with her. She is fighting until the last one.”
It was a replay of the Wimbledon final two years ago when Williams won, but the American was unable to overcome Kerber to win a 24th Grand Slam title which would have tied Margaret Court’s record.
Kerber improved to 3-1 in Slam finals and 2-1 in her last three matches with Williams, all in Slam finals.
“Playing finals against Serena, you know that she is playing her best tennis,” Kerber said. “That’s the matches that she loves. Especially on the center courts. I was trying to not thinking too much that I playing against Serena. I was trying to staying on my side of the court. Staying little bit cool, being not too much emotion.”
At 3-3 in the first Kerber broke Williams twice in a row, and in the second set muted the famed power of the American to close out the match.
“It was a great opportunity for me,” the 36-year-old Williams said. “You know, I didn’t know a couple of months ago where I was, where I would be, how I would do, how I would be able to come back. It was such a long way to see light at the end of the road kind of. So I think these two weeks have really showed me that, ‘Okay, I can compete.’ Obviously I can compete for the long run in a Grand Slam. I can, you know, come out and be a contender to win Grand Slams.
I just feel like [Kerber] just did a lot of different shots today. It wasn’t just one shot. It was lots and lots and lots of different shots. I just know going next time, I’ll just be ready for that. I feel like I have a ways to go. This is literally just the beginning, literally just the beginning. It’s good to just continue that path and just continue to keep going for me.”
The German hit 11 winners to just five unforced errors over two sets, compared to Williams who was -1 in winners to unforced errors (23/24).
Kerber will rise to No. 4 on the WTA rankings and No. 2 in the 2018-only point standings. She is 2-0 in 2018 finals, also winning at Sydney. Williams is projected to move into the Top 20 after starting the year in March with no ranking.
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