In a shocker that lasted barely over an hour, an inspired Angelique Kerber blew away Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3, ending the American’s imperious run in this tournament to become the Wimbledon singles champion.

That Kerber’s gritty resilience would pose Williams some questions was anticipated; what was wholly unexpected was she would outplay her opponent, who would have equalled Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams had she won, so overwhelmingly.

Kerber stamped her authority on the match from the very start, exploiting her opponent’s backhand errors to break serve. A stung American upped her intensity to break back and level 2-2, but as the set progressed some things were beginning to become clear.

For a start, Williams was unable to dominate her opponent in the customary manner she deals with others. Kerber displayed an uncanny ability to absorb this power by retrieving well on both flanks and whenever the opportunity presented itself, turn the heat back on Williams.

The fearsome Williams serve didn’t quite get going; in fact, Kerber made a meal of this in the first set in which Williams could win a mere 14% of her second-serve points. In contrast, the German made her second serve speak for itself, winning 57% and 60% of service points in the two sets.

Flawless display

Kerber’s nearly flawless performance was reflected in the comparison on unforced errors. While Kerber made only five, Williams made as many as 24.

Kerber broke a second time in the first set to go up 4-3 and then — to the astonishment of an audience that was expecting a comeback from the American — broke Williams a third time to wrap it up 6-3.

Things went with serve at the beginning of the second set, but Kerber who was dominating the rallies, broke Williams again with a forehand down the line to go up 4-2. From then on, it appeared that the only thing that could alter the course of the match was nerves.

At 5-3, Kerber displayed a touch of that, despite going up 30-0 after Williams missed a facile volley, slumping to the ground in disbelief and the possible realisation that the Wimbledon title was slipping away from her.

She would recover to make it 30-all but Kerber — who had become extremely tentative with her serving — managed to squeeze a forehand down the line.

When Williams found the net on the next point, Kerber won her first Wimbledon singles title, the last German to have won it being Steffi Graf, 22 years ago.

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