History beckons Serena Williams on Day 12 of the Wimbledon Championships as she pits her wits against German 4th seed Angelique Kerber in the Women’s singles final.
Serena, at this time last year, was on the threshold of winning holding all 4 Grand Slams together. That she achieved but a year later, Wimbledon is the only title she still possesses. She lost the final of this year’s Australian as well as French Opens. Kerber has thwarted Serena’s bid for her record-equalling 22nd title once already in Melbourne. She will be hoping for a repeat performance in London today.
While it is clear as daylight that Serena is head and shoulders above other players in Women’s tennis, she has been vulnerable to pressure and ever growing expectations lately. It is hard to say she ‘choked’ but she lost 2 Grand Slam finals already this year to unfancied opponents. But she can still overhaul Graf’s Open-era record (22 titles) and even Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 titles.
Kerber, meanwhile, will want to prove that she is no one-hit wonder by landing her 2nd Grand Slam title at the age of 28. The rejuvenated Kerber will rise to No.2 in WTA rankings after this week and she will want to sweeten the news by winning the ‘Venus Rosewater Dish’.
Kerber is a gritty player and is not intimidated by Serena as she showed in January this year. If Serena is not at her best, Kerber will more than fancy her chances of landing her 2nd Grand Slam crown. We might just be in for a classic final today.
What happened yesterday?
The biggest news from day 11 was the exit of Roger Federer at the hands of Milos Raonic, who set up a final clash with local favourite Andy Murray for the top honours. Federer’s quest for an 8th title at Wimbledon proved futile as he went down in 5 sets to the big-serving Canadian. The 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 defeat was also the first loss in the Wimbledon semifinals for the Swiss maestro. In the process, Raonic became the first player from Canada to reach a Grand Slam final.
The 6th seed began the match well, serving impeccably, as he pummelled Federer with 140+ mph serves. He gained an early break and held on to win the 1st set before Roger Federer showed what he was capable of. He displayed graceful but intelligent tennis to take control of the tie. The 2nd set was won thanks to an impeccable tie-break while he stood toe to toe with Raonic’s serves in 3rd. Federer used all his experience to strike at the right time and go 2 sets to 1 up.
But Raonic showed impressive resolve to hit back in the 4th set. He showed hunger and a desire to give back the best as he could and played a near perfect 5th set to deny Roger Federer an 11th semifinal victory in 11 attempts.
In the 2nd semifinal, Andy Murray downed Tomas Berdych in straight sets to sail comfortably into the final, in contrast to how Raonic reached there. Cheered on by a vociferous crowd, Murray broke very little sweat in a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 demolition of the 10th seeded Czech. This will be Murray’s 11th Grand Slam final but worryingly he has won only 2 of them. Murray continued his impressive form of late and only a confident Raonic stands before him and a 2nd Wimbledon crown.
Here’s a complete list of fixtures for day 12 of the championships:-
Women’s Singles Final:-
|18:00||Serena Williams (USA)  v Angelique Kerber (GER) |
Men’s Doubles Final:-
|18:00||Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) / Nicolas Mahut (FRA)  v Julien Benneteau (FRA) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)|
Women’s Doubles Final:-
|18:00||Timea Babos (HUN) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)  v Serena Williams (USA) / Venus Williams (USA)|
Fans across the world can tune into the following networks to catch all the action live on television:
ARQ (NOVA/CET 21)-CZECH REPUBLIC & SLOVAKIA
beIN SPORTS-FRANCE, MIDDLE EAST
EUROSPORT-RUSSIA, UKRAINE, BALTICS, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, ESTONIA, MOLDOVA, ARMENIA
I.K.O (SPORT KLUB)-BOSNIA, CROATIA, MACEDONIA, MONTENEGRO, SERBIA, SLOVENIA
SETANTA-REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
SKY DEUTSCHLAND-GERMANY & AUSTRIA
SKY ITALIA -ITALY
THE TENNIS CHANNEL-UNITED STATES
Fans can also catch the action on the internet via live streaming in websites www.wimbledon.com and www.starsports.com.