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December 1, 2021

The Steve Jones Show:

Serena Wins Record Tying 22nd Grand Slam Title

By Howard Fendrich/LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams won her record-tying 22nd Grand Slam title by beating Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 in the 2016 Wimbledon final.

Williams pulled even with Steffi Graf for the most major championships in the Open era, which began in 1968. Now Williams stands behind only Margaret Court’s all-time mark of 24.

This was Williams’ seventh singles trophy at the All England Club and second in a row. Her victory at Wimbledon a year ago raised her Grand Slam count to 21, but while she came close to adding to that total since, she couldn’t quite do it.

There was a stunning loss to Roberta Vinci in the 2015 U.S. Open semifinals in September, ending Williams’ bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam. Then came losses in finals to Kerber at the 2016 Australian Open in January, and to Garbine Muguruza at the 2016 French Open.

But in the rematch against the fourth-seeded Kerber at Centre Court – the first time in a decade two women met to decide multiple major titles in a single season – the No. 1-ranked Williams came through.

The 34-year-old American did it, as she often does, with nearly impeccable serving. She slammed 13 aces, including at least one in each of her first eight service games. She won 38 of 43 points when she put a first serve in.

And she faced just one break point – at 3-all in the second set, it represented Kerber’s only real opening – and shut the door quickly and emphatically, with a pair of aces at 117 mph and 124 mph, her fastest of the afternoon.

There was more that Williams did well, though. So much more. Facing the left-handed Kerber’s reactive, counter-punching style, Williams was by far the more aggressive player, trying to make things happen. And she did, compiling a big edge in winners, 39-12.

Williams lost only one set this fortnight, the opener of her second-round match against Christina McHale of the U.S.

“This court,” Williams said, “definitely feels like home.”

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