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Kerber admits she was helpless against Serena

LONDON: Defeated Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber admitted she was helpless to prevent the Serena Williams onslaught which powered the American to a seventh Wimbledon and record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title.

The fourth seed, bidding to become the first German to win the Wimbledon crown since Steffi Graf in 1996, slipped to a battling 7-5, 6-3 loss in one of the better All England Club finals in recent years.

Kerber carved out just one break point in the 81-minute final in the seventh game of the second set.

But in a flash, it was gone as the 34-year-old American fired a 117 mph ace and then another at 124 mph to restore order.

“This is how Serena is playing. I had one break point, and I couldn’t do nothing,” said Kerber, who had defeated Williams for her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.

“I was trying to be tough, to stay in the match, trying to fight until the last point.

“But Serena was the one who won the match. I played my best, did what I could. At the end, she deserved it.”

Williams finished on 39 winners and 13 aces which absorbed the 21 unforced errors she had committed.

She ended the tournament with 74 aces, more than twice as many as second-placed Elena Vesnina who managed a comparatively meagre 31.

Kerber hit just 12 winners on Saturday and was unable to fire one ace past her opponent.

“I think I played what I could today. Serena was serving unbelievable. I tried everything,” said the 28-year-old, who had not lost a set at the tournament before Saturday.

She had also knocked out five-time champion Venus Williams in the semi-finals.

“She really played an unbelievable match. I think we both played on a really high level.

“I think I was not the one who lost the match, I think she won the match.”

Kerber will move to number two in the world in the rankings next week behind Williams.

The American has been top of the pile since February 2013.

But Kerber acknowledges that she still feels a long way behind the great American in terms of achievement.

After all, Williams now has 71 career titles; Kerber has nine and has the best part of $70 million less in the bank.

“It’s tough to follow in her footsteps. Let’s see one day. But I think it’s still a long way,” she said. –AFP