Serena blown up in style
Melbourne Open has a new champion :
Germany’s Angelique Kerber stunned world number one Serena Williams
in three sets to win her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open
Kerber, seeded seventh, won a thrilling final 6-4 3-6 6-4 at
The 28-year-old is the first German to win a major singles title
since Steffi Graf at the 1999 French Open.
Williams, 34, was beaten for just the fifth time in 26 Grand Slam
finals, and the American missed the chance to tie Graf’s open-era record
of 22 titles.
Kerber, who saved a match point in her first-round win over Misaki
Doi, will move up to number two in the world rankings.
Kerber had won just one of six previous matches against Williams and
was making her Grand Slam final debut, but she was the better player
over two hours and eight minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
She led Williams in the ace count until the latter stages, limiting
her to just seven overall, while the American racked up 46 errors to
just 13 by Kerber.
Williams made 23 mistakes in the first set alone - sparking memories
of her desperately nervous display in losing to Roberta Vinci at the US
Open last September - and Kerber took full advantage to claim it after
However, the defending champion cut he rerror count to just five in
the second set and claimed it thanks to a single break in game four.
Kerber twice moved ahead in the decider and a stunning sixth game saw
the German produce two fine drop shots and win a breathtaking 19-stroke
rally to cling on to her serve and edge closer to victory.
Nerves took hold and she was broken while serving for the match, but
she launched into the Williams serve once again and clinched the title
when Williams sent a volley long.