Serena Williams vs. Angelique Kerber
Styles Make Matches
Angelique Kerber is an excellent player whose game is built around a powerful lefty forehand, excellent movement, and a fighting spirit. Kerber’s biggest weakness is her serve. Serena Williams also possesses a fighting spirit and powerful ground strokes, but her serve is a major strength. This leaves me wondering where Kerber can find a competitive advantage during the match to exploit. Both are great fighters and great athletes, but Serena’s game is more complete. Serena also has a lot of experience in major finals. So is this an open and shut match?
Kerber being a lefty and her willingness to compete mean she has a chance. Some players lack enough fight to make a great champion beat them. I think Kerber will dig in and give whatever she has to her cause. Also, being a lefty means her shots will come at Serena from angles not frequently faced. Roberta Vinci was able to upset Serena at last year’s US Open in part by slicing a lot of backhands and winning some points at the net. The patterns Vinci gave Serena were not typical. I don’t expect Kerber to slice many backhands or make a lot of trips to the net, but her lefty shots may be outside of the normal patterns of tennis just enough to get some traction.
Kerber’s serve is likely to be a sitting duck for Serena often enough to make victory an uphill prospect. However, if Kerber can find a way to slide her lefty serve into Serena a la Jimmy Connors’ serve which was rarely a weapon but also hard for opponents to jump on, Kerber can shore up some of this competitive disadvantage.
@DanMartinTennis for sure! She is one of my fav female players. Low key. Hard work.
— Magnus Norman (@normansweden) January 27, 2016
Angelique Kerber had an excellent 2015 campaign in regular tour events. I felt as though she would improve her major results in 2016 a la Magnus Norman’s strong 1999 tour results leading into his 2000 Australian Open semifinal and Roland Garros runner-up finishes. I simply think Serena does what Angelique does as well or better than Angelique. On top of that, Serena’s serve and experience advantages are real.
Serena Williams d. Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3