LONDON, July 13 — Serena Williams will face Angelique Kerber tomorrow hoping to win an eighth Wimbledon singles title.
AFP Sport looks at the American legend’s previous seven final victories at the All England Club:
2002: bt Venus Williams (USA) 7-6, 6-3— Aged 20, Serena already had two Grand Slam titles under her belt, but winning her first Wimbledon crown, at the expense of her sister Venus, was her true breakthrough moment. Venus, two years older, was the world’s top player at the time. Serena made it clear who would end up being regarded as the family’s best player as she sealed a dominant win that moved her above Venus to the top of the WTA rankings.
2003: bt Venus Williams (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2— With five Grand Slams in her trophy cabinet, Serena was well established as a global star, but the Williams’ sisters popularity with fans was still hit and miss after a less than warm reception at the French Open. This was one of a clutch of strangely lacklustre all-Williams finals that played a role in the public’s apathy. Despite suffering from an abdominal injury earlier in the tournament, Venus was Serena’s final opponent again and it was the younger sibling who took the title for a second successive year.
2009: bt Venus Williams (USA) 7-6, 6-2— After a barren six-year spell marred by Wimbledon final defeats against Venus and Maria Sharapova, it was Serena’s time to regain her throne. The sisters went into the final with a 10-10 record, but having powered through the draw without dropping a set, defending champion Venus began as a marginal favourite. Serena had other ideas, winning comfortably to end Venus’s hopes of a third straight title. Victory in the fourth all-Williams Wimbledon final made it 11 Grand Slams for Serena.
2010: bt Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 6-3, 6-2— In the most one-sided of Serena’s Wimbledon finals, she needed just 66 minutes to demolish the out-classed Vera Zvonareva. The American didn’t drop a set in the entire tournament and Russian 21st seed Zvonareva, playing in her first Grand Slam final, was no match. Williams also moved past Billie Jean King to sixth in the all-time list of female Grand Slam singles champions with 13 major titles. Looking towards King in the Centre Court Royal Box afterwards, Williams said: “Hey Billie, I got you, it’s number 13 for me.”
2012: bt Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 6-1, 5-7, 6-2— This was an emotional fifth Wimbledon title for Serena after injury and health issues forced her to the sidelines for over a year between 2010 and 2012. Radwanska made a fight of it, winning a rain-delayed second set. Serena became the first woman over 30 to win Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova in 1990, while her 102 aces were the most in an All England Club campaign. “I can’t even describe it. I almost didn’t make it a few years ago,” she said.
2015: bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-4, 6-4— For the second time, the American secured the ‘Serena Slam’ as she held all four Grand Slam titles at the same time. Muguruza was making her major final debut and Serena exploited the youngster’s nerves despite a brief wobble of her own late in the second set when she twice dropped serve. It was the 33-year-old’s 21st Grand Slam title and third of 2015. “There was definitely pressure towards the end,” said Williams, who also completed the Serena Slam in 2003.
2016: bt Angelique Kerber (GER) 7-5, 6-3 — Serena’s seventh Wimbledon triumph gave her an historic 22nd Grand Slam title, equalling Steffi Graf’s Open era record. Kerber had beaten Williams in the Australian Open final in January, but the German couldn’t produce another shock. Williams, who had lost the French Open final just weeks earlier, was back to her best, dropping only one set en route to the silverware. “This court definitely feels like home,” she said. — AFP