Angelique Kerber upset world number one Serena Williams to win her first ever Grand Slam on Saturday at the Australian Open. Kerber, seeded seventh, won a thrilling final 6-4 3-6 6-4 at Melbourne Park. She’s the first German woman to win the Australian Open for 22 years, the last being Steffi Graf at the 1994 Fench Open.
Williams made 23 mistakes in the first set alone – sparking memories of her desperately nervous display in losing to Roberta Vinci at the US Open last September – and Kerber took full advantage to claim it after 39 minutes.
However, the defending champion cut her error count to just five in the second set and claimed it, thanks to a single break in game four. Kerber twice moved ahead in the decider and a stunning sixth game saw the German produce two fine drop shots and win a breathtaking 19-stroke rally to cling on to her serve and edge closer to victory.
Nerves took hold and she was broken while serving for the match, but she launched into the Williams serve once again and clinched the title when the world number one sent a volley long. “I had goosebumps.My whole life I’ve worked hard to say ‘I am a Grand Slam champion’. It’s crazy. “Tonight really is a dream come true, I’m a grand slam champion, I beat Serena in the final.”
Williams was gracious in defeat, telling Kerber: “Angie, congratulations. You deserve this and I’m so happy for you. I really hope you enjoy this moment.” Kerber is now seeded number two in the women’s tennis rankings, while Serena retains her top spot.