Sensational Serena retains Wimbledon title, matches Graf
Serena Williams avenged her shock Australian Open final defeat against Angelique Kerber to retain the women's singles title at Wimbledon and finally equal Steffi Graf's record of 22 Open Era grand slam triumphs.
Williams held all four slam crowns after triumphing at the All England Club last year, but a shock semi-final exit for the world number one at the US Open was followed by final defeats in Melbourne and Paris this year, at the hands of Kerber and Garbine Muguruza respectively.
Kerber again provided the opposition on Saturday, after knocking out Venus Williams in the last four, but a superb serving performance helped the defending champion to a 7-5 6-3 triumph and her seventh Wimbledon title.
While Kerber was able to generally hold her own in baseline rallies on a windy Centre Court, the left-handed German earned just one break point - clinically saved with an ace - as Williams earned a host of free points behind her most potent weapon.
A solitary break in each set therefore proved enough for Williams in a high-quality encounter, which was fittingly brought to an end with a hold to love from the American.
The athletic Kerber was forced to save three break points in her opening service game, but gradually grew in stature as the first set wore on, producing some particularly excellent work in defence.
However, after holding with increasing confidence, Kerber was found wanting in the 12th game, consecutive unforced errors providing Williams with two set points. The second of those was taken when a powerful backhand forced Kerber to net.
Williams' serving remained a key factor in the second set, the top seed coming up with back-to-back aces on the one time Kerber did earn a chance to break.
There were flashes of brilliance from both players, but Kerber came up with another unforced error to fall 5-3 down before Williams raced through what proved the final game in ruthless fashion.
Williams  bt Kerber  7-5 6-3
Williams - 39/21
Kerber - 12/9
Williams - 13
Kerber - 0
BREAK POINTS WON
Williams - 2/6
Kerber - 0/1
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams - 65
Kerber - 67
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams - 88/39
Kerber - 59/68
Williams - 72
Kerber - 60