Photo Credit: AustralianOpen.com
Germany's Angelique Kerber upset world number one and defending champion Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 on Saturday win the Australian Open title, the first Grand Slam championship of her career.
Serena entered the match having never lost in an Australian Open final, 6-0 overall. But the American committed 23 errors in the opening set and Kerber was able to break her serve twice, going on to win the opening set 6-4.
The six-time champion responded in the second set, though, hitting 16 winners to just five unforced errors and securing the set's only break to win the second set and force the year's first Grand Slam into a deciding third set.
Kerber showed a lot of grit in the third set. Instead of folding, she came out firing, breaking early to open up a 2-0 advantage. And even after Serena got the break back to bring the set to 2-2, Kerber rattled off the next three games to take a commanding 5-2 lead, eventually closing it out 6-4 to capture the title.
The seventh-seeded German was exceptionally sharp in the final set, hitting 12 winners to just 3 errors where as Serena hit 19 winners but committed 18 errors.
Kerber became the first player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam after facing a match point in the first round.
"When I was match point down, I actually had one leg in the plane back to Germany. I got a second chance, and I took that chance to be here in the finals to play against Serena. I'm really honored to be in this final and to win it - my dream came true tonight," said Kerber. "My whole life I was working really hard, and now I'm here, and I can say I'm a Grand Slam champion, and it sounds really crazy.
These have been the best two weeks of my life."
Serena was vying to equal Steffi Graf's Open Era record of 22 career Grand Slam titles but was denied by Graf's countrywoman.
"You played the best at this tournament," said a gracious Serena after the match. "Let me be the first to congratulate you--I'm so happy for you. You truly deserve it so congratulations."
In the men's doubles final, seventh-seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who were playing in their first Grand Slam together, came back from a set down to beat Radek Stepanek and Daniel Nestor 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Jamie's younger brother, Andy, who is playing Novak Djokovic in the men's singles final on Sunday, was on hand to watch his older brother hoist the trophy.