Australian Open 2016: Serena Williams' serve my biggest challenge, Angelique Kerber says

With one grand slam title shy from breaking the record majors (22) won by German tennis legend Steffi Graf, Serena looks every bit confident in her contest with Kerber.

Outside of the most rarified of airs, however, Kerber is far from a novice.

Before Graf retired that year, she and Williams played twice. But of course, such assertions always lead back to the 2015 US Open when it all went horribly wrong for Williams at the semi-final stage when it seemed a calendar Grand Slam was inevitable. I just remember her serving really well, her moving well, her being determined to win that.

Vera Lapko has followed in Victoria Azarenka's footsteps by becoming just the second Belarusian to capture the girls' singles trophy at the Australian Open.

The American world No. 1 has stepped up considerably since she was embarrassed by the Italian in three sets, fighting her way through with wins over Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5 during the first round, Su-Wei Hsieh 6-1, 6-2 during the second round, Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-1 during the third round and Margarita Gasparyan 6-2, 6-1 in the fourth. Kerber then took out Johanna Konta, who had eliminated Serena's sister, Venus, in the opening round and became the first British woman to reach the Australian Open semifinal since 1983.

"I don't have so much pressure like she has". You know, I think she will have respect. "I will try to enjoy the final and hopefully play good". Now I'm back in the Top 5. I was thinking about this match and what's happened there.

She said she was "one leg in the plane for Germany", at the time.

Kerber was training next to the world number one and defending champion at Melbourne Park on Friday.

Williams beat Maria Sharapova with typical ease in the quarterfinals. Also, a win would give her a shot at the Grand Slam once again.

Williams will face German Angelique Kerber in the final, who advanced to her maiden grand slam final at the Australian Open.

The 34-year-old Williams hadn't lost a set in the first six rounds at Melbourne Park until dropping the first on Saturday night against No. 7-seeded Kerber, who was playing in her first major final. Nestor is 43-years-old and Stepanek is 37-years-old, and each have previously won an Australian Open men's doubles title, just with different partners. "I don't have so much pressure like she has". But she won't be underestimating Kerber on Saturday.

"That has been a really good experience for me to have, to really feel what it's like to be pushed and to just hang in there".

Kerber has played Williams six times in her career, losing each time except at Cincinnati in 2012, when she beat her in straight sets. Her being lefty definitely helps out as well.

"That said, Serena loves to play under these conditions. I know that she brings a lot, you know, to the game".

For the remarkably level-headed Konta, losing did not hurt and there would be no rewards to mark her achievement.

"I would say this is probably the best Slam I've played in a year, and I've won a lot in a year", said Williams, the top seed.



Other news