Serena Williams has beaten German No. 1 Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 to claim her seventh Wimbledon win and equal Steffi Graf’s all-time singles Grand Slam record title haul.
The pair looked closely-matched in the early stages as Kerber belied her lesser ranking and Grand Slam experience by going toe-to-toe with her American opponent.
A tie break looked inevitably as Kerber served to stay in the set at 5-6 but the German tightened up with the finish line in sight, missing with two successive backhands to hand Williams two break points. The American wasted the first one with a tame drop shot in to the net but made no mistake second time round, forcing Kerber to net with a powerfully-struck backhand.
Despite a strong opening set display from the German, she failed to create a break point against the powerful American.
The second set began in similar fashion, with both players in impressive form. But again it was the world number 1 who forced the breakthough in the eighth game, winning four consecutive points to serve for the championship.
Williams summoned all her experience to seal the victory with a forehand volley before collecting the Venus Rosewater dish for the seventh time and a singles Grand Slam title for the 22nd time.
Kerber was gracious in defeat: “I would like to say congrats to Serena, you really deserved your title, you’re a great person, a great champion,” she said on the court after the game.
The 34-year-old pulled level with Graf after a year of trying. She looked to have stalled after winning the event a year ago, before falling in a US Open semi-final and losing the finals at the Australian and French Open this season. The former to Kerber.
“It’s been tough not to think about the record,” Williams said. “I’ve lost twice this years trying to get it.
“That makes the victory even sweeter knowing how hard I worked for it – number 22 is awesome.”
The menÄs final is on Sunday and will be between Andy Murray and Milos Raonic
As it happened