Angelique Kerber stands between Serena Williams and a 22nd grand slam when they play the Women’s Wimbledon Final on Saturday (8am ET on ESPN). Read our preview of this Wimbledon Final with betting picks selection.
Serena Williams is in the final of a grand slam tennis tournament for the third time this year and goes for a record that would match all-time great Steffi Graf for majors won.
Standing in her way is no easy opponent as Williams learned during the Australian Open when Kerber (pictured) defeated her en route to her first major championship.
The Road to the Finals
For Serena Williams, with Wimbledon came a lot of questions, not the least of which was, “could she finally win that 22nd major on her third attempt?”
That road to 22 started with Amra Sadikovic, who Williams made quick work of. The following round saw her take on an opponent she is quite familiar with in her countrywoman Christina McHale. While McHale has yet to beat Williams, she has taken a set off of her two of the three times they have met. One of these was at this year’s Wimbledon where McHale actually took the first set in a tiebreak before Williams came back to win the next two. Another quick victory, including a perfect 6-0 in the second set, followed against Annika Beck.
This put Williams in the fourth round where she began to face the seeded players. Her match was against (13) Svetlana Kuznetsova, who after playing strong in the first set going down 7-5, caved in the second set as Williams put up her second bagel of the tournament. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (21st seed) was next and only fared slightly better, allowing Williams just the one break point in each of their two sets.
In perhaps her best match of the entire season, Williams dismantled Elena Vesnina in a 48-minute drubbing, the final result of which was 6-2, 6-0.
A similar pattern existed for Kerber, who has had an up and down season since defeating Williams at Wimbledon. She defeated Britain’s hometown hero Laura Robson in straight sets and made it look easy against Varvara Lepchenko as well. Her third round matchup against Carina Witthoeft gave her a little more trouble, the first set being decided in a 13-11 score in the tiebreak. Ultimately Kerber never really struggled and won the second set easily at 6-1.
Another 6-1 set came against Misaki Doi in the fourth round as Kerber continued her streak of not dropping a set and not being broken at Wimbledon this year. Her streak of not dropping a set continued against (5) Simona Halep and again against (8) Venus Williams.
Can Serena get Revenge for Wimbledon?
Having led their career head-to-head 5-1, no one really expected that there would be an upset at Rod Laver Arena. In fact, with Williams having come off of her best season in some time, winning three of the year’s four majors and achieving her second “Serena Slam,” by holding all of the championships at once, it seemed 2016 would be more of the same. And up until the final it was, as Williams made it look easy as the longest reigning world number one returned to her fourth final in five majors.
It was Kerber however, in her first major final, who got the first break. But then Williams broke back right away only for Kerber to do the same and eventually win the first set 6-4. Despite women’s tennis only being decided in a best-of-three format, Williams was no stranger to coming back from a deficit so there was no reason to panic.
As expected, Williams won the second set, breaking Kerber in the fourth game and remaining on serve to win 6-3. Entering into the third and deciding set, it seemed Williams had all of the momentum.
But then, it happened. Kerber broke Williams early to go up 2-1. Williams immediately broke back to level the set but Kerber got another break as well and ended up with a 5-2 lead. Williams would fight back and get the set to 5-4, but Kerber’s lead was too much and she would go on to win 6-4.
That was the last time these two met on any court and Williams will no doubt be looking to change that result this time around as well as silence critics who with a loss, could be talking decline again, despite the level she was playing at last year.
Williams has done well in so-called revenge matches in the past including avenging a loss to Maria Sharapova by going on an 18-of-19 run and against Samantha Stosur, who since winning against Williams at the 2011 US Open has failed to even take a set from her.
Our Preview’s Serena Williams vs Angelique Kerber Betting Picks
Williams has been in top form at Wimbledon. A 48-minute victory over her semifinal opponent Vesnina is a shining example. Her serve is back to being a lethal weapon, connecting at 54% of unreturned balls from her opponent in that drubbing.
Additionally, working in Williams’ favor is the fact that her sister just played Kerber and will no doubt be able to provide some meaningful insight into the way the German and fourth seeded player in the world is playing right now.
Completing the trifecta is the experience of not only having been in this position before, but having won the title at Wimbledon an incredible six times.
All of this has Williams as the odds-on favorite to take home the crown and it’s a betting pick that I think is safe for this Wimbledon final preview to go with. The spread favors Williams at a set and a half with the total on 2.5 sets. And while Kerber has been playing great, it’s hard to pick against Williams’ track record.