Sunday, 10 July 2016

Wimbledon winner Serena Williams equals Steffi Graf's 22 grand slams


Serena Williams breathed a sigh of relief after beating Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon to claim a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title.

Williams had been chasing Steffi Graf's milestone since she won her 21st major tournament here last year but surprise defeats at the US, Australian and French Opens prolonged the American's pursuit.

The wait came to an end on Centre Court, however, as Williams edged a thrilling final 7-5 6-3 against Kerber to tie Graf at the top of the Open-era list and clinch her seventh Wimbledon crown.

read more

22! Williams tops Kerber at Wimbledon, ties Graf’s Slam mark
Serena Williams of the U.S celebrates after beating Angelique Kerber of Germany in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Saturday, July 9, 2016. AP

Serena Williams insisted she was not focused on No. 22. Said she wouldn’t discuss it.

Kept coming close without quite getting it.

Now she finally has it. And so she can flaunt it.

read more

Serena Williams wins seventh Wimbledon, her record-tying 22nd major title
Serena Williams holds up her trophy after winning the women's singles final against Angelique Kerber of Germany on Day 13 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. (Tim Ireland / Associated Press)

Game, set . . . finally matched. With a dominating performance Saturday, Serena Williams claimed the 22nd Grand Slam title of her career, matching Steffi Graf’s Open-era record and achieving a goal that taunted her for nearly a year.

Williams defeated Germany’s Angelique Kerber, 7-5, 6-3, to win the women’s singles at Wimbledon for a seventh time, putting the finishing touches on a tournament in which she lost just one set.

After she punched the clinching volley to a spot unreachable by Kerber, Williams tossed up her racket, raised her arms and allowed herself to tumble back onto the grass, lying there for several moments in a mixture of exhaustion and elation. The elusive 22nd major win came on the heels of Williams’ losing in the finals of the U.S., Australian and French opens — getting oh so close, only to come up with warning-track power at the biggest moments.

read more

22! Williams tops Kerber at Wimbledon, ties Graf's Slam mark

She pulled even with Steffi Graf for the most major championships in the Open era, which began in 1968. Now Williams stands behind only Margaret Court's all-time mark of 24.

This was Williams' seventh singles trophy at the All England Club — only Martina Navratilova, with nine, has more in the Open era — and second in a row. The victory at Wimbledon a year ago raised her Grand Slam count to 21, where it remained until Saturday.

"It's been incredibly difficult not to think about it. I had a couple of tries this year," said Williams, who went back on court a few hours later to win the doubles title with older sister Venus. "But it makes the victory even sweeter to know how hard I worked for it."

read more

No 22 and still counting as Serena equals Graf

It was 3rd time lucky for American Serena Williams as she finally matched Steffi Graf's professional era record of 22 grand slam singles titles by beating Angelique Kerber to claim a seventh Wimbledon crown on Saturday (Jul 9).

Top seed Williams was forced to play some of her best tennis by resolute Kerber in an engrossing Centre Court duel in which her formidable firepower proved decisive in a 7-5 6-3 over her German opponent.

Kerber had stopped Williams in the Australian Open final to win her first grand slam title and last month Spain's Garbine Muguruza also kept the 34-yr-old waiting to equal Graf's mark when she beat her in the French Open final.

read more

LEVEL GRAF

It was third time lucky for American Serena Williams as she finally matched Steffi Graf's professional era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles by beating Angelique Kerber to claim a seventh Wimbledon crown on Saturday. Top seed Williams was forced to play some of her best tennis by the resolute Kerber in an engrossing Centre Court duel and her formidable firepower proved decisive in a 7-5, 6-3 over her German opponent.

Kerber had stopped Williams in the Australian Open final to win her first Grand Slam title and last month Spain's Garbine Muguruza also kept the 34-year-old waiting to equal Graf's mark when she beat her in the French Open final.

But this time Williams would not be denied.

read more

Williams ties Grand Slam mark
Serena Williams of the U.S celebrates after beating Angelique Kerber of Germany in the women's singles final on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Saturday. (Photo: ap)

Williams lifted both arms overhead and raised two fingers on each hand right there on Centre Court to show off the magic number after winning her record-tying 22nd Grand Slam title by beating Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final on Saturday.

"Definitely had some sleepless nights, if I'm just honest, with a lot of stuff," Williams said. "My goal is to win always at least a Slam a year. It was getting down to the pressure."

She pulled even with Steffi Graf for the most major championships in the Open era, which began in 1968. Now Williams stands behind only Margaret Court's all-time mark of 24.

read more

Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf während eines Charity-Tennis-Turniers für Rexona

Stefanie Maria "Steffi" Graf (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfiː ˈgʁa:f]; born 14 June 1969) is a German former tennis player, who was ranked world No. 1 during her career. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Her 22 singles titles, tied with Serena Williams, marks the joint record for most Major wins by a tennis player (male or female) since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968 and is second all-time behind Margaret Court (24). In 1988, she became the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year, furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least 4 times.

Graf was ranked World No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 total weeks—the longest period for which any player, male or female, has held the number-one ranking since the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals began issuing rankings. She won 107 singles titles, which ranks her third on the WTA's all-time list after Martina Navratilova (167 titles) and Chris Evert (157 titles). She and Margaret Court are the only players, male or female, to win 3 grand slams in a calendar year 5 times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996).

A notable feature of Graf's game was her versatility across all playing surfaces, having won each of the four Majors at least four times, the only player to do so, and she is best known for her great footwork and for her powerful forehand drive. Graf won six French Open singles titles (second to Evert), seven Wimbledon singles titles, four Australian Open titles, and five U.S. Open singles titles. She is the only singles player (male or female) to have achieved a Grand Slam since hard court was introduced as a surface at the US Open in 1978. Consequently, Graf's Grand Slam was achieved on grass, clay, and hard court while the previous five Grand Slams were decided on only grass and clay. Graf reached thirteen consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, from the 1987 French Open through to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them. She won 5 consecutive Majors (1988 Australian Open to 1989 Australian Open), and 7 Majors out of 8, in 2 calendar years (1988 Australian Open to 1989 US Open, except 1989 French Open). She reached a total of 31 Grand Slam singles finals.

read more