Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Serena Williams wins 22nd Grand Slam title

LEON NEAL via Getty Images
Do not mess with Serena LEON NEAL via Getty Images Do not mess with Serena
Alfredo Watts | 10 July, 2016, 21:15

Serena Williams, left, and Venus Williams of the U.S hold their trophies after winning the women's doubles final against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazahkstan and Timea Babos of Hungary on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Saturday, July 9, 2016.

Victory means Williams finally has her 22nd grand slam title and moves level with Steffi Graf at the top of the Open era list of women's champions.

In her pursuit of one of the most elusive records in tennis, the third time proved the charm for Serena Williams at Wimbledon on Saturday, beating Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3.

"I really enjoyed the final today and it was a great atmosphere out there and I will never forget the feeling". The numbers. "So I know she won a lot, so that's basically it".

It was a match worthy of any final as Kerber, in her first Wimbledon final, pushed the American all the way, scrapping for everything and using her outstanding speed to run down every ball.

In Melbourne I thought I played well, but honestly Angelique played great, she played better. Asked about those episodes after winning her seventh Wimbledon title Saturday, the 34-year-old American said: "I'm thinking, do I have to call them and tell them, 'Don't go outside". I don't know what the deal was.

But she showed no sign of distraction as the Williams ran out comfortable winners against Kazakh player Shvedova and Hungarian Babos. "I didn't come from any money or anything, but I did have a dream - and that's all you really need".

To her great credit, fourth seed Kerber stayed in contention throughout a fascinating match of contrasting styles.

Williams, who had friends Beyonce and Jay-Z watching from her player's box, then collapsed to the court in joy. "No", she warned, "not for me".

Instead of the ninth all-Williams final at a Grand Slam tournament, there will be a rematch of another sort to determine the title at Wimbledon. She volleyed well, too, winning the point on 16 of 22 trips to the net, including a tap-in on match point. Before the loss, Williams had won her last eight grand slam finals.

But just as Kerber seemed to be gaining momentum, she was broken and Williams served out the match at love in seconds.

Kerber saved the first with an easy forehand, but Williams converted on the next with a cross-court backhand victor to take the first set. "That is when I started saying "look, I am going".

"Serena is someone who beats records and not just equals them", said her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

"I think we did not realise how much time she needed to recover from the disappointment of the loss of the US Open, so it took time".

It had been four years since the Williams sisters featured in a major doubles final - their victory at the 2012 Wimbledon Ladies Doubles Championships was the last time they reached this stage.