World No. seven Angelique Kerber shocked overwhelming favourite and defending champion Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to capture her maiden Grand Slam title at Australian Open on Saturday.
— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) January 30, 2016
The 28-year-old German played some exceptional tennis to upstage the World No.1 in three grueling sets which lasted two hours and 10 minutes at the Rod Laver Arena.
In the process, she also thwarted Williams' chance to equal legendary Steffi Graf's total Grand Slam singles count of 22. Kerber matched the 21-time Major winner in every aspect of the game, and at times, was found dictating the rallies over her more illustrious rival.
The German faced the powerful Williams serve first up, and failed to win a point against it, reinforcing expectations that the top seed would take control.
But Kerber began finding her range and against the odds broke to go 2-1 in front. An out-of-sorts Williams was hitting too many errors, but holding for 2-3 seemed to temporarily flip a switch in the American who broke back. But the mistakes piled up and Kerber broke again as she dictated the baseline points.
Twenty-three unforced errors from Williams to the German`s three told the story of the first set, which Kerber wrapped up in 39 minutes.
Rattled, Williams cleaned up her act in the second set and it went with serve until the fourth game when two Kerber double faults helped Williams to a 3-1 lead.
She took it into a deciding third set having made only five errors, in stark contrast to her wayward first set.
But it was Kerber who grabbed a decisive break in the third set as she reeled off a brilliant passing shot on her way to a 2-0 lead.
It went with serve until a titanic sixth game, when Williams saved four break points but couldn`t save a fifth as she looped a forehand long.
It spelled the end of the road as Kerber held her nerve to win her first Grand Slam and collapsed to the floor in delight when Williams put another volley long.
(With Agency inputs)