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Williams beats Kerber at Wimbledon to win 22nd Grand Slam

Williams beats Kerber at Wimbledon to win 22nd Grand Slam

United Kingdom

World number one Serena Williams beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-3 to claim a seventh Wimbledon singles title and equal Steffi Graf’s professional era record of 22 grand slam singles crowns on Saturday.

The 34-year-old American edged a high-quality final on a blustery Centre Court as she avenged a surprise loss to Kerber in the final of this year’s Australian Open.

It's been incredibly difficult not to think about it. It makes the victory even sweeter to know how hard I worked hard for it.

Fourth seed Kerber stuck to her guns in a fiercely-fought first set but wavered at 5-6 when a couple of unforced errors gave a fired-up Williams the chance to grab the opener, which she did on her second set point.

World number one, Williams faced a moment of danger when Kerber earned a first break point at 3-3 in the second set but she responded by blasting down consecutive aces to stay ahead.

Under severe pressure throughout the contest, Kerber crumbled in the next game, skewing a backhand wide to give Williams a 5-3 lead and the chance to serve for the title.

Williams was in no mood to prolong the contest and stormed 40-0 ahead, sealing victory with a volley on her first match point before collapsing backwards joyfully on to the Centre Court turf.

Factbox on Serena Williams

GRAND SLAM CAREER: 22 wins – Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015); French Open (2002, 2013, 2015)

Wimbledon: (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)

U.S. Open: (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

  • Williams is now level with Germany’s Steffi Graf with the most grand slam singles titles in the professional era, although Margaret Court has 24.
  • One of five women, after Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf, to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time.
  • Williams also owns 13 women’s grand slam doubles titles with older sister Venus and has won four Olympic gold medals: singles (2012), doubles (2000, 2008, 2012).

MAKING HER NAME

  • Learned to play the game with Venus in Compton, California.
  • Both were coached by their father Richard.
  • Turned professional in September 1995.
  • Won her first WTA Tour title in Paris in 1999, beating Amelie Mauresmo in the final.
  • Defeated Martina Hingis in the U.S. Open final in 1999, becoming the first African American woman to win a grand slam singles title since Althea Gibson in 1958.

Reuters Wimbledon