The 2018 Wimbledon Final will be contested between number 11 seed Angelique Kerber and number 25 seed Serena Williams. This match is a repeat of the 2016 final which Williams won in two tight sets. Here I preview what promises to be a fascinating encounter.
Kerber’s Route to the Final
R1. v Vera Zvonareva 7-5 6-3
R2. v Claire Liu 3-6 6-2 6-4
R.3 v Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-4
R.4 v Belinda Bencic 6-3 7-6(5)
QF v Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-5
SF v Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3
Angelique Kerber has dropped just one set on her way to the final. Her most impressive performance was in the semi-final against the power of Ostapenko. She will come up against a similar type player in Serena Williams. Kerber’s fairly routine progress means she shouldn’t be affected by fatigue and she will need all her energy if she is to triumph here.
Williams’ Route to the Final
R1. v Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3
R2. v Viktoriya Tomova 6-1 6-4
R3. v Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 7-6(2)
R.4 v Evgeniya Rodina 6-2 6-2
QF v Camila Giorgi 3-6 6-3 6-4
SF v Julia Goerges 6-2 6-4
Serena has peaked perfectly in this tournament. Her response to losing her first set in the quarter final showed what a champion she is. She dug in and found a way to win. Her semi-final performance was excellent. Goerges played a great match but Serena’s power and angles were too much. She will need a big performance to beat a familiar foe on Saturday.
Serena understandably enters the match as the favourite considering her past victories here. She is going for her eighth title and looking to equal Margaret Court’s Open era record of 24 Grand Slams. She won 87% of points behind her first serve in the semi-final and her serve was what won her the title against Kerber in 2016. She will face a different type of pressure as she has not played much tennis since the birth of her daughter. Can she handle it?
Kerber has made steady progress throughout the tournament on what I consider to be her best surface. Her serve has been vital to her progress. She made 77% of first serves in her semi-final and will need to make a similar number in the final. The German’s defence has been wondeful throughout the Champioships and she has been excellent in nullifying the big shots of Osaka and Ostapenko.
It would be special to see Serena win her 24th Slam at the All England Club and create history. It would be equally sweet to see Angelique win her first Wimbledon after her nightmare 2017. I’m giving the nod to Serena in two tight sets or over 3 sets. It promises to be a great game of tennis.