18th of January marks the birthday of one of the best female tennis players Germany has ever produced in former 1 and till now a 3 time singles Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber. Born in 1988 Kerber turned professional in 2003. She has been one of the best WTA players in the last decade. On her birthday we look back at Angie’s 1st Grand Slam success which came in Australian Open 2016.
Seeded 7th in the draw Kerber had a near scare in the 1st round against an inspired Japanese player Misaki Doi who took the 1st set and almost the match. Kerber had to fight hard through the 2nd set tie breaker but managed to win it and then found her rhythm in the 3rd set, thus avoiding an upset.
In the next 3 matches Kerber would breeze through, even without the loss of a singles set. In the 4th round match the German even handed a bagel to her compatriot Annika Beck. Kerber had now found the form at the right occasion and would enter the 2nd week full of confidence.
In the quarter-final match Angelique would meet her most formidable opponent till then in Victoria Azarenka from Belarus. The match seemed a close contest but Kerber would strike at the right moments in both the sets. She won the 2nd set breaking the Azarenka serve in closing stages and thus booked herself a place in her first semi-final at the Australian Open.
In the semis Angie faced another determined opponent Johanna Konta of Britain. Konta would try hard but it was again Kerber who showed much more resolve and presence of mind. She would close the match in 2 sets and enter into her 1st ever Grand Slam final. Kerber had done so at the loss of just a single set in the whole tournament so far.
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In the final, which was her 1st at Grand Slam level Kerber faced the defending champion Serena Williams who was a 21 time slam winner, 6 of which had come at the Australian Open till then. Angie however would not be awestruck by either the occasion or the opponent.
The German continued her brutal hitting which had worked in her previous matches and took the early lead by winning the 1st set 6-4. Serena would come back strongly and level the match by taking the 2nd set 6-3. In the 3rd set Kerber was expected to lose her nerves. However the German brought out the best from himself when the occasion demanded. She broke the Serena serve at the crucial score of 5-4 thus helping herself to win the match and lift her 1st ever Grand Slam trophy. Angie became only the 2nd German female Slam winner the Open Era after her idol Steffi Graf.
(Repost from Original Post)