Kerber stuns Serena in final while Nadal crashes out of Wimbledon

Angelique Kerber won her first championship at the All England Club beating Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3. Separately, Novak Djokovic delivered a semi-final win over Rafael Nadal in a two-day thriller that lasted five hours and 15 minutes.

Germany's Angelique Kerber poses with the trophy after winning the women's singles final match against Serena Williams of the United States.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber poses with the trophy after winning the women’s singles final match against Serena Williams of the United States. (Reuters)

Angelique Kerber became the first German woman to win Wimbledon for 22 years as the 11th seed shattered Serena Williams’ bid for Grand Slam history with a shock 6-3, 6-3 victory in Saturday’s women’s final.

Kerber avenged her defeat against Williams in the 2016 Wimbledon title match, overwhelming the seven-time champion with a stunning 65-minute upset on Centre Court.

“I knew I had to play my best tennis against a champion like Serena,” Kerber said.

“It was my second chance to play in the final. I think I’m the next one after Steffi who won. That’s amazing.”

Serena Williams returns the ball to Angelique Kerber during their women's singles final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Serena Williams returns the ball to Angelique Kerber during their women’s singles final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. (AP)

Serena’s first time after becoming a mother 

Williams had hoped to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles by winning her first major prize since becoming a mother in September.

The 36-year-old, who last won a Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open, went into the final as the title favourite, even though she was playing only the fourth tournament of her post-pregnancy comeback.

But instead world number 10 Kerber sprang a huge surprise, making her Germany’s first female champion at the All England Club since Steffi Graf in 1996.

“It’s obviously disappointing but I am just getting started,” said an emotional Williams after losing in the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2008.

“For all you mums out there I was playing for you. I really tried.”

Graf helped Kerber get her game on track earlier in the her career, so it was an especially sweet moment for the 30-year-old to follow in her footsteps at Wimbledon.

Germany's Angelique Kerber sprang a huge surprise, making her Germany's first female champion at the All England Club since Steffi Graf in 1996.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber sprang a huge surprise, making her Germany’s first female champion at the All England Club since Steffi Graf in 1996. (AP)

Weary Nadal bows out of Wimbledon with pride

Meanwhile on the men’s semi-final, Rafael Nadal said he was proud and had nothing to reproach himself for after losing a top-quality Wimbledon game to great rival Novak Djokovic on Saturday.

The two-day, five-hour-15-minute match of breathtaking shotplay and tiny margins between two giants of modern tennis ended 6-4 3-6 7-6 (9) 3-6 10-8 in Djokovic’s favour.

“Nothing to complain. I think I played a great match. I have not much more inside me. I give it my best,” the 32-year-old Spanish world number one said.

“I think I did a great work. Is difficult to come back after injuries for a long time and have these kind of results, so I am proud of myself.”

It was Rafael Nadal's 52nd match against Novak Djokovic, a rivalry dating back to 2006.
It was Rafael Nadal’s 52nd match against Novak Djokovic, a rivalry dating back to 2006. (AP)

Nadal, who won the French Open for the 11th time last month, spent much of 2016 out of action with a wrist injury.

He has won the Wimbledon title twice but last reached the final in 2011 and has since struggled at the All England Club with a series of losses to lower-ranked players.

It was his 52nd match against Djokovic, 31, a rivalry dating back to 2006. Serb Djokovic leads the head-to-head 27-25.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic, left, serves to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's singles semi-final match at the Wimbledon.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, left, serves to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men’s singles semi-final match at the Wimbledon. (AP)

‘I go for holidays…’

“He’s probably the greatest fighter ever to play this game. I mean, he battles every single point like it’s his last. That’s something that is so impressive with Rafa. That’s what makes him so difficult to beat on any surface,” Djokovic said.

Nadal said he regretted losing an opportunity to win another major title.

“But that’s it. Nothing else. I go for holidays proud of the things that I’m doing.”

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