Kerber to face Serena

Angelique Kerber celebrates her 6-4, 6-4 demolition of Venus Williams yesterday. The German will play top seed Serena Williams in the final. The two met in the final of the Australian Open in January and Williams suffered a shock three-set loss.
Angelique Kerber celebrates her 6-4, 6-4 demolition of Venus Williams yesterday. The German will play top seed Serena Williams in the final. The two met in the final of the Australian Open in January and Williams suffered a shock three-set loss.PHOTO: REUTERS

Straight-sets victory by German puts paid to hope of Williams siblings facing off in final

LONDON • Angelique Kerber booked a Wimbledon final showdown with defending champion Serena Williams as the German tennis player ended Venus Williams' bid for a fairytale title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory yesterday.

Serena's demolition of Elena Vesnina in the day's first semi-final had set up the prospect of the first all-Williams Wimbledon final since 2009.

But Kerber had no intention of being a footnote in Wimbledon history and she saw off five-time champion Venus, 36, in 71 minutes on Centre Court to reach her first All England Club title match.

"Venus won so many times here and was playing really well. That's why I'm so happy to reach my first Wimbledon final," Kerber said. "It's a really good feeling. I'm really enjoying my tennis life."

Kerber stunned Serena to win her maiden Grand Slam crown in the Australian Open final in January and the 28-year-old again stands in the way of the world No. 1's bid to win a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam.

Having beaten one Williams, fourth seed Kerber can set her sights on becoming the first player to defeat both American siblings in the same Grand Slam since Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open.

  • RESULTS

  • Women's s-finals: Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Venus Williams (USA) 6-4 6-4, Serena Williams (USA) bt Elena Vesnina (Rus) 6-2 6-0.

"It's a completely new tournament and surface. I will just try to go out with a lot of confidence and play my best tennis," Kerber said.

If she can cause another upset against six-time champion Serena, Kerber would become the first German woman to win Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996.

Kerber could not be in better form heading into tomorrow's final.

She had raced through her six matches at Wimbledon without dropping a set and now has a WTA tour-best 34 match wins this year and is guaranteed to rise to a career-high second in the world rankings next week.

Serena, who completed a 6-2, 6-0 win over 50th-ranked Vesnina, was forced to again vigorously defend equal prize money after she reached a ninth Wimbledon final.

She blasted the Russian off Centre Court in just 48min 34sec, the fastest ever semi-final at the All England Club.

Vesnina earned £500,000 (S$874,000) by making the semis.

In contrast, Marin Cilic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, beaten in the men's quarter-finals on Wednesday, received £250,000 despite spending a total of 71/2 hours on court and playing five sets apiece.

Serena, 34, fired 11 aces, 28 winners and committed just seven unforced errors, breaking serve five times to reach her 28th Grand Slam final.

Vesnina, 29, won just three points off her opponent's serve in the first set and none in the second.

"Yeah, I think we deserve equal prize money. Yeah, absolutely," said Serena, before staring out the male journalist who asked the question with steely contempt.

"I mean, if you happen to write a short article, you think you don't deserve equal pay as your beautiful colleague behind you?

"Basically my whole life I've been doing this. I haven't had a life. I don't think I would deserve to be paid less because of my sex, or anyone else for that matter in any job."

Vesnina was equally adamant that she and her fellow women players deserve equal rewards.

"We have also good quarter-final matches on the women's side," she said. "The women's event is tough, I can say. We deserve what we have right now."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2016, with the headline 'Kerber to face Serena'. Print Edition | Subscribe