Kerber Stuns Williams for Australian Open Win

Williams was the overwhelming favorite
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 30, 2016 8:34 AM CST
Kerber Stuns Williams for Australian Open Win
Angelique Kerber celebrates after winning a point against Serena Williams.   (Aaron Favila)

Angelique Kerber has upset Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the Australian Open title, ending the six-time champion's unbeaten streak in finals at Melbourne Park. Williams was an overwhelming favorite at the Australian Open, where she had won all six previous times she'd reached the final, and was trying to equal Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles. For the second time in as many majors, though, she fell short. Williams won the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon titles in 2015 before losing to Roberta Vinci in the US Open semifinals. The 34-year-old Williams hadn't lost a set in the first six rounds here until dropping the first on Saturday night against No. 7-seeded Kerber, who was playing in her first major final.

Williams had won the title every previous time she'd reached the final at Melbourne Park, and was overwhelming favorite to continue that streak against Kerber, who joked she was "one leg in the plane to Germany" when she faced match point in her first-round win over Misaki Doi. The 28-year-old Kerber used acute angles to keep Williams guessing, and continually passed the 21-time major winner or forced errors at the net. "My whole life I was working really hard and now I'm here and I can say I'm a Grand Slam champion," said Kerber, who had only ever reached the semifinals twice at the majors and hadn't gone beyond the quarterfinals since Wimbledon in 2012. "It sounds really crazy and unbelievable." (More Australian Open stories.)

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