7th seed Angelique Kerber pulled off a stunning three set upset – beating World No. 1 and reigning champion Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to win the Australian Open.
Kerber broke Williams early on to take the lead and the set, with the No. 1 coming back in the second. A long, hard-fought deciding set would see nearly an hour of back-and-forth, with Williams fighting to scramble back – but eventually unable to do so, with Kerber winning her first ever Grand Slam title.
The first set saw Kerber take an early break of serve to lead Williams, then capitalizing on that break to go 3-1. The top seed would break her back, but it was Kerber who would break a second time, with Williams unable to make up.
With 7 forehand unforced errors, Williams struggled in the first set against the German’s powerful serve. Kerber fought well to take the first set. Although she managed only 4 winners to Williams’ 12, the American committed a mammoth 23 unforced errors, which would eventually contribute in her losing the set.
She looked to find her feet again in the second set, breaking Kerber and then capitalizing to lead 4-1. She managed successfully to rein in her unforced error count as well, with only 5 in that set. Visibly agitated in the first set and berating herself for missing out on crucial points, she had calmed down significantly to finish the second set in a little over half an hour, with her German rival unable to break her serve.
Williams hit 3 aces, holding the final game of that set comfortably to win it 6-3.
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The deciding set would be the longest set of the match, with a flailing Williams, struggling against the left-handed, in-form Kerber, unable to reach her rival’s shots.
The World No. 1 was hoping to equal Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slams, but missed out today.