December 17, 2017

Serena Williams Loses Australian Open to Angelique Kerber

Photo from left to right: World No. 1 Serena Williams poses with Australian Open 2016 winner, Angelique Kerber Photo from left to right: World No. 1 Serena Williams poses with Australian Open 2016 winner, Angelique Kerber Photo Credit: Getty

For Williams, tie with Steffi Graf’s Grand Slam Wins Put on Hold

If you were hoping for No. 1 ranked and defending Australian Open champion, Serena Williams, to tie Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 tennis Grand Slams with a repeat win at the Australian Open 2016, you are probably sorely disappointed. Serena lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

The Australian Open 2016 marked Serena Williams’ first competitive major tournament in four months.

Just like the US OPEN 2015, the pressure was on Serena Williams. There is an expectation with every tournament that Serena will rack up the wins, as she steamrolls her opponents; and Serena feels it.

"I mean, every time I walk in this room, everyone expects me to win every single match, every single day of my life," Serena Williams stated in her post-match news conference. "As much as I would like to be a robot, I'm not. I try to."

As straight to the point that Serena may have been with the media, she showed every bit of good sportsmanship towards Angelique Kerber.

"You did so well, let me be the first to congratulate you," Williams said on the court. "You truly played so well in the moment."

Kerber kept her wits about her and her nerves in check throughout the tournament. It could have been lights out in the first round when she met Japan’s Misaki Doi. However, Kerber saved a match point to advance.

Reflecting on the first round, Kerber jokingly said to the crowd assembled at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, “I was with one leg in the plane for Germany.”

Not only did Kerber handle Doi to advance, she sailed past Victoria Azarenka, a former world No. 1, in the quarterfinals 6-3, 7-5.

“I take my chance to be here in the final and play against Serena,” Kerber said. “My dream come true tonight, on this night. My whole life I was working so hard and now I can say that I’m a Grand Slam champion… it sounds so crazy.”

“I’m really enjoying this moment right now,” Kerber said regarding playing in her first major final. “This is the best two weeks of my life, my career. I had goosebumps when I was playing on the court."

Kerber is the first German woman to win the Australian Open since Graf’s win in 1994, and she acknowledged receiving a congratulatory message from Graf.

In acknowledging Serena Williams, Kerber said: "You are really an inspiration for so many people, so many young tennis players. You created history, you are a champion, you are a really an unbelievably great person, so congratulations for everything you did already."

It was graciousness all the way around, at the Australian Open 2016.

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