Kerber aims to follow in Graf's Wimbledon footsteps

Angelique Kerber is hoping to end Germany's wait for a Wimbledon women's singles winner 20 years on from Steffi Graf's last triumph.

Angelique Kerber celebrates beating Venus Williams in straight sets in the semifinal on Thursday.

Angelique Kerber is hoping to end Germany's wait for a Wimbledon women's singles winner 20 years on from Steffi Graf's last triumph. No player has won as many Grand Slams in the Open Era as the 22 managed by Graf, though Serena Williams could draw level if she overcomes Kerber in Saturday's final.

But Kerber, who overcame Serena's sister Venus 6-4, 6-4 in Thursday's semifinal, is hoping to follow in her compatriot's footsteps by becoming the first German woman to win at the All England Club since 1996. "I don't know if I watched this match [the 1996 final against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario], but I watched a lot of Wimbledon finals from her," said Kerber.

"I know that 20 years ago she won here for the last time. Of course, I will try to be the next one to win here after Steffi. She was always an idol for me. I was always watching a lot of her matches, also on YouTube sometimes. She was one of the best players in the world. She won so many grand slams.

"I met her few times. She's a great person. When you hit with her, she's still playing really well. When you talk with her, it's always a great honour to speak with her.

"[The last time we spoke] she just told me that I'm on a good path, to believe in myself and practice hard."

Repeat of Australian Open final

Kerber's clash with Williams is a repeat of this year's Australian Open final. The German came out on top in that match to win her first grand slam, and she is hoping to use that experience to combat a highly motivated opponent.

"I think, for sure, I will go out there with a lot of confidence. [But] it's a completely new match. We are playing on grass court. She lost the final against me, and I know she will go out and try everything to beat me right now," said Kerber. "I will just try to go out there like in Australia, trying to show her I'm here to win the match. I know that I have to play my best tennis to beat her in the final here.

"I'm excited to be in the Wimbledon final. That was always a dream for me to one day be on the Centre Court on the last day and playing the final.

"It's a little bit different than in Australia because that was my first Grand Slam final. Here I know what happens after, I know the experience that came directly after Australia. I think right now I'm a little bit more relaxed than there."

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos