Kerber joins esteemed company with Wimbledon win

Darren Walton
Kerber joins esteemed company with Wimbledon win

Anglique Kerber has elevated herself into rarefied air with an emotional Wimbledon triumph, and she's now on the cusp of an incredible career achievement.

Kerber broke down in tears after emerging from a two-year grand slam slump to add tennis's greatest prize to her 2016 Australian Open and US Open trophies with a commanding 6-3 6-3 victory over the great Serena Williams in Saturday's title decider.

In doing so, Kerber denied Williams a record-equalling 24th singles slam and became the first German since her childhood idol Steffi Graf to have her name engraved in the Venus Rosewater Dish.

The 30-year-old also separated herself from dual major winners Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Garbine Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova with a third career slam victory.

Kerber joined the living legend Williams, the American's sister Venus (7) and Russian superstar Maria Sharapova (5) as just the fourth active player with at least three slams to their credit.

Kerber's first Wimbledon title. Image: Getty

Like it or not, Kerber will arrive at next year's French Open amid huge hype as she attempts to follow in the footsteps of Williams, Graf, Sharapova and fellow tennis icons Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as only the seventh woman in 50 years of professional tennis to win all four majors.

The only others to achieve the feat since grand slams began more than a century ago are Americans Billie-Jean King, Maureen Connolly, Doris Hart and Shirley Fry Irvin.

Despite her status as a former world No.1 - as well as boasting some formidable results on clay and being a quarter-finalist for the second time last month at Roland Garros last month - Kerber is embarrassed to entertain the prospect of joining such exalted company with French Open glory.

"To win my third grand slam it's amazing, especially here. Wimbledon was always the grand slam I was dreaming for it," the soon-to-be world No.4 said.

"To start with Australia, with New York, I learned a lot from the experience and everything.

"Also to playing the final the second time here (after losing to Williams in 2016).

"Yeah, to winning three different grand slams, I think it's just the best thing.

"About clay, I think we have to see in the future. I think that's a longer way to go for it."

Rather than set bold future goals, Kerber is preferring to savour her "most special" moment after falling out of the world's top 10 in 2017.

"I think without 2017 I couldn't win this tournament," she said.

"I learned a lot from last year, with all the expectation, all the things I go through.

"I learned so many things about myself, about the things around, how to deal with this, how to make my day schedule.

"I try to enjoy every single moment now.

"Also to finding the motivation after 2016, which was amazing. I think to making again such a year is impossible.

"But now, I just try to improve my game, thinking not too much about the results, trying to being a better tennis player, a better person, trying to enjoying my tennis again."