?? Wimbledon championships match preview
?? (11) Angelique Kerber vs. ?? (25) Serena Williams
After a tournament full of upsets we are left with a blockbuster final at SW19 as Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams renew hostilities. This is a heavyweight battle, Kerber will be aiming for a third Grand Slam title whilst Serena Williams will be playing to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. This will be the third consecutive meeting between the pair in a Grand Slam final, Kerber famously got the better of Williams at the Australian Open in 2016 to win her first Grand Slam title whilst Williams won the Wimbledon final later that year. Who will edge ahead in their Grand Slam final battles with a win on Saturday?
Angelique Kerber is at the peak of her powers at the moment. The German may have made a slow start to the tournament in wins over Vera Zvonareva and Claire Liu but has bas been in ominous form since then. Kerber has navigated her way to a second Wimbledon final with straight set wins over 4 dangerous young opponents, beating Naomi Osaka (6-2 6-4), Belinda Bencic (6-3 7-6), Daria Kasatkina (6-3 7-5) and finally a commanding 6-1 6-3 victory over Jelena Ostapenko. Kerber has been extremely solid from the baseline in the second week of the tournament and importantly she has served very well. A 77% first serve percentage against Ostapenko meant the German was in control of her service games, a similar performance in the final will give her a great chance at victory.
It has taken Serena Williams little time to return to the top of the game. This time last year Serena was pregnant, it is truly remarkable what she has achieved, especially given how complicated her pregnancy was. Serena cruised through the first 4 rounds against inferior opposition, beating Arantxa Rus (7-5 6-3), Viktoriya Tomova (6-1 6-4), Kristina Mladenovic (7-5 7-6) and Evgeniya Rodina (6-2 6-2). It was at the quarter-final stage where Serena overcame her first big challenge, coming from a set to down to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Camila Giorgi. Serena really raised her level in an impressive 6-2 6-4 semi-final victory over Julia Goerges, arguably the highest level of tennis we have seen from Serena this year.
The signs are good for Kerber and Williams heading into this match. Kerber has ended her last 4 matches with a positive winner / unforced error ratio whilst Serena has had a better ratio in all of her matches except a rusty opening round performance. Expect a high quality encounter here!
Williams holds a 6-2 H2H record over Kerber. The pair have built up a really competitive rivalry over the last couple of years. The last 3 matches between the pair were in finals, a 7-6 6-3 win for Williams in the Stanford final in 2014, 6-4 3-6 6-4 win for Kerber at the Australian Open in 2016, most recently Williams defeated Kerber 7-5 6-3 in a very competitive Wimbledon final in 2016. This is a fascinating match-up as it sees the almighty Serena Williams, the most powerful and intimidating player out tour take on the best counter-puncher on tour.