- Djokovic beats Nadal, to meet Anderson in Men’s Final
Angelique Kerber beat seven-time champion Serena Williams to win her first Wimbledon title and spoil the American’s dream comeback as a mum. The German 11th seed, 30, beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion 6-3 6-3 to add this title to her 2016 Australian Open and US Open crowns.
Williams had been the favourite despite it being only her fourth tournament since giving birth in September.
Kerber dropped to the grass when a netted service return gave her victory. “It is a dream come true,” said Kerber, who is the first German woman to win the title since Steffi Graf in 1996.
“I know I had to play my best tennis against a champion like Serena. Serena is a great person and a great champion and she is a great inspiration for all of us.”
Williams said she had been happy to simply get to the final so soon into her comeback, adding: “It is obviously a disappointment but I can’t be disappointed. I’m literally getting started.
“To the other mums out there I was playing for you today and I tried. But Angelique played really well. I look forward to continuing to be out
Kerber, known for her defensive style, came to the match with a more attacking plan in mind – keep the point going and exploit Williams’ lack of mobility around the court. And it paid off handsomely with the 36-year-old’s dashes to the net ending in errors half of the 24 times she came forward.
The German former world number one showed her intent in the first game, breaking the Williams serve that forms the backbone of her game.
Williams broke back to level at 2-2 before Kerber re-established the advantage in the seventh game when the American hit long, and she took the set when Williams sent a backhand into the net.
Kerber stuck with her tactics in the second set, breaking in the sixth, and the sight of Williams falling to the ground in frustration when she missed a straightforward lob for 30-0 when Kerber was serving for the match summed up her day.
The German struck a forehand winner to bring up championship point and sealed the victory on the next point when Williams could only return a serve into the net.
It means Williams’ bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title must wait until next month’s US Open at least.
Meanwhile Novak Djokovic is one match away from a first Grand Slam title since 2016 after an epic five-set win over Rafael Nadal in their delayed Wimbledon semi-final. Djokovic, who won 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) 3-6 10-8 in five hours and 16 minutes, will face Kevin Anderson today. The Serb led by two sets to one when play stopped on Friday.
Spain’s Nadal broke twice in the fourth set when it resumed yesterday, but Djokovic fought back to take his second match point to edge a dramatic decider.
This was Nadal and Djokovic’s 52nd meeting – more than any other two men in the Open era – and the pair did not disappoint as they finally resumed their long-standing rivalry on the Grand Slam stage.
With 29 major titles between them, two of the game’s all-time greats had not faced each other this deep in a major since the 2014 French Open final.
Starting under the Centre Court floodlights, finishing after an overnight break, and packed with quality and drama throughout, it was a match befitting a final never mind a semi-final.
Nadal missed five break points in the decider and was eventually punished as 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic reached his first major final since the 2016 US Open.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in 2011, 2014 and 2015, told BBC Sport.
“It’s very special. It was very clear that very few things separated us. This kind of match is what you live for, you work for.”