Serena Williams will be aiming for her eighth Wimbledon title when she takes on 11th seed Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s women’s final at the All England Club in London.
The American is into her first Grand Slam title since returning to the tour after maternity leave in a contest that is a repeat of the 2016 Wimbledon final.
Williams won that match in straight sets, and another victory will see her equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
Date: Saturday, July 14
Time: 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET
TV: BBC (UK), ESPN (U.S.)
Stream: BBC iPlayer (UK), WatchESPN (U.S.)
The women’s tournament has been packed with shocks as the top players were all knocked out early on. Kerber became the top seed left in the draw by the quarter-final stage after the top 10 had all been eliminated.
One of the German’s toughest matches came in the first week when she needed three sets to see off the challenge of American qualifier Claire Liu.
Wins over Naomi Osaka, Belinda Bencic and Daria Kasatkina followed before she beat Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets in the semi-finals.
The German knows what it takes to win a Grand Slam having won the Australian Open and the U.S. Open in 2016, but she is yet to taste victory at SW19.
WTA Insider is expecting a quality final:
WTA Insider @WTA_insider
The last time Serena Williams played the #Wimbledon final, Angelique Kerber was standing across the net. It was an incredibly high-quality match.
We’ll do it again on Saturday.
Kerber took just one hour and eight minutes to beat Ostapenko, and she will provide Williams with a tough test. The 30-year-old left-hander is not a grass court specialist, but she is into her second final at SW19 in three years.
She has a strong defensive game, is an excellent retriever and covers the court well. She also possesses a fine forehand down the line, per Christopher Clarey of the New York Times:
Christopher Clarey @christophclarey
One of the best shots in tennis: Kerber’s down the line, slide-away-from -you forehand. Cruel beauty
Former world No. 1 Andy Murray has offered his verdict on Kerber, as shown by freelance tennis writer Ben Rothenberg:
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Murray also (correctly) said that Kerber struggled because of her mental fatigue last year more than other #1’s might because her playing style doesn’t allow her to get many free points.
Andy Murray, WTA analyst is all I’ve ever wanted, tbh. #Wimbledon
Yet she faces one of the toughest challenges in tennis against Williams, who has grown in strength as the tournament has progressed.
The departure of the seeds has seen the draw open up for the American. She did not face a seeded player until the semi-finals when she beat Germany’s Julia Gorges.
Her toughest match came in the quarter-finals against Italy’s Camila Giorgi. Williams dropped the first set but managed to recover to take it in three.
Williams has looked dominant on serve, which was helped her power her way to the final.
Clarey showed what Kerber can expect:
Christopher Clarey @christophclarey
Serena’s biggest 1st serve here – 122 mph (196 kph) – is the same as Djokovic’s
The American only returned to the tour in March after giving birth to her daughter in September 2017. She has demonstrated at Wimbledon she has lost none of her power, precision and athleticism, and it would be no surprise if she were to win on Saturday.
The 36-year-old has said she has nothing to lose, per Metro‘s George Bellshaw:
George Bellshaw @BellshawGeorge
Serena Williams: ‘It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel. I literally didn’t expect to do this well in my fourth tournament back. When I have nothing left to lose, I play so free.’
Williams may have beaten Kerber in the Wimbledon final before, but she will be well aware she lost to the German in the Australian Open final. The American will go into the game as the favourite, but this has been a tournament of shocks, and there could well be one more on Saturday.