Angelique Kerber beat seven-time champion Serena Williams to win her first Wimbledon title and spoil the American’s dream comeback as a mum, BBC says.
The German 11th seed, 30, beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion 6-3 6-3 to add this title to her 2016 Australian Open and US Open crowns.
Williams had been the favourite despite it being only her fourth tournament since giving birth in September.
Kerber dropped to the grass when a netted service return gave her victory.
“It is a dream come true,” said Kerber, who is the first German woman to win the title since Steffi Graf in 1996.
“I know I had to play my best tennis against a champion like Serena. Serena is a great person and a great champion and she is a great inspiration for all of us.”
Kerber, known for her defensive style, came to the match with a more attacking plan in mind – keep the point going and exploit Williams’ lack of mobility around the court.
And it paid off handsomely with the 36-year-old’s dashes to the net ending in errors half of the 24 times she came forward.
The German former world number one showed her intent in the first game, breaking the Williams serve that forms the backbone of her game.
Williams broke back to level at 2-2 before Kerber re-established the advantage in the seventh game when the American hit long, and she took the set when Williams sent a backhand into the net.
Kerber stuck with her tactics in the second set, breaking in the sixth, and the sight of Williams falling to the ground in frustration when she missed a straightforward lob for 30-0 when Kerber was serving for the match summed up her day.
The German struck a forehand winner to bring up championship point and sealed the victory on the next point when Williams could only return a serve into the net.
Overcome by the magnitude of what she had achieved against a player who beat her in the 2016 Wimbledon final, Kerber collapsed on to the ground and covered her eyes, while Williams came over to her side of the net to share a warm embrace.
It means her bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title must wait until next month’s US Open at least.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic may got his mojo back as he defeats arch-rival Rafael Nadal at an epic match yesterday, BBC writes.
The Serb, who dropped out of the top 20 this year but who was bumped up from No 21 to be seeded 12 here, outlasted Rafael Nadal on Saturday in yet another dramatic encounter in their incredible rivalry, finally breaking down the Spaniard’s resistance 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11), 3-6, 10-8 to reach the final for the first time since he won his third Wimbledon title in 2015.
It is his first grand slam final since the US Open of 2016 and he will go into the final on Sunday as the favourite to beat Kevin Anderson, the South African, a win that would give him his 13th grand slam title.
“There were moments of doubt, of frustration, disappointment, where you’re questioning whether you want to keep it going in this way or that way, where is that taking you,” Djokovic said.
“Everybody goes through that process of thinking. I don’t know anybody that is managing always to stay positive, to always 100% have self-belief, confidence. It’s life. We humans, we go through that.
At 5hr 15min it was the second longest semi-final in Wimbledon history, hot on the heels of the 6hr 36min epic between Anderson and Isner the previous day, a match that left Djokovic and Nadal only enough time to fit in three sets on Friday night before the 11pm curfew kicked in.
When the two players resumed on Saturday, shortly after 1pm with Djokovic leading two sets to one, the roof remained closed, as it had been the previous evening. Nadal said later that he would have preferred it to be open but the level of tennis matched that of the previous night, stunning rallies, punctuated more often than not by a thumping Nadal winner or a sumptuous Djokovic backhand.
Both players had chances to break in the fifth set. Nadal saved one at 3-4 before Djokovic served his way out of trouble at 4-4, 15-40. At 7-7, Nadal again forced 15-40 and then, on his third break‑point chance, he charged in after a big crosscourt backhand, only to see Djokovic roll a brilliant forehand pass across him at the net.
Still Nadal fought, saving a match point with a brilliant drop shot at 8-7 but two games later Djokovic led 0-40 on the Nadal serve and took his first match point as the Spaniard’s forehand
Nadal was disappointed but not dejected. This was the two-times champion’s best run at Wimbledon for seven years and having collected an 11th French Open title just last month, he is in good health and good spirits. “Normally I am very critical with myself,” he said.
“[But] I hit great shots. I played aggressive. Nothing to complain about. I think I played a great match.”