Kerber upsets Serena Williams to win Australian title

German World No 6 Angelique Kerber shocked tournament favourite and World No 1 Serena Williams in the Australian Open finals on Saturday, picking up her first Grand Slam singles trophy.

She beat five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-1 in the quarter-finals before seeing off fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0 6-4 to make the final.

Kerber made 78% of her first serves compared to 69% for Williams who was found out at the net as Kerber used the inside ball as her get-out-of-jail free card.

"When I played here the first round I was match point down and playing with one leg on the plane to Germany", an emotional Kerber said in a courtside interview.

Williams is the fresher of the two, having not dropped a set and having lost just 26 games en route to the final, what Chris Evert called "the cleanest Grand Slam she's had in the last few years".

Kerber had only ever beaten Williams once - in 2012 - in six career meetings, and was coming off a shaky start to the tournament when she had to save a match point in her first-round win over Misaki Doi.

The German then won three games in a row to move within a game of the match before failing to serve the title out on her own serve.

"But I think today, going against Aga, you have to be ready or be ready to go home".

"She is going out there to try to win again another Grand Slam, making history", Kerber said.

Williams, who is one win away from getting her seventh Australian Open title, also said that she has to be at her best against Kerber, pointing out that her final opponent performed well against Azarenka in the quarterfinals. "She told me 'Congrats, ' and that she is happy for me, and good luck in the finals", Kerber revealed Friday.

Victory will put her equal with Graf's Open-era record that has stood since the German won her 22nd and last major title at the French Open in 1999. However, Kerber won the first set 6-4 and looked good value for it.

But it was only a temporary reprieve, with Williams holding serve and then breaking to march 2-1 clear.

"I think she started unbelievable, with such a power and speed".

For the second time in as many majors, though, she fell short. While so often in her incredible Grand Slam run past year Williams ensured drama by mentally dipping in and out of matches, this time she has been all-business from the off.

Serena's Road To The Final: The 21-time Grand Slam champion had a testing opening round against hard-hitting Italian Camila Giorgi, dropping nine games 6-4, 7-5.

Angelique Kerber has a huge task ahead of her, however if she can knock Williams off her perch, it will be seen as one of the greatest feats in women's tennis this decade. "She had an attitude that I think a lot of people can learn from - to always stay positive and never give up".

Asked the last time she played such a flawless set, Williams added: "Probably my second-round match [against Hsieh Su-wei]".



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