WIMBLEDON, England — On the first point of the women’s final at Wimbledon on Saturday, Angelique Kerber ended a rally with a forehand winner down the line.
On the next, Serena Williams sent a backhand crosscourt winner that scorched the baseline.
Yes, it was going to be one of those matches. But unlike in their duel in the Australian Open final in January, Williams came out the winner.
Williams tied Steffi Graf’s Open-era record for Grand Slam singles titles, gaining her 22nd with a 7-5, 6-3 victory. Margaret Court holds the overall record for Grand Slam titles, with 24 from 1960 to 1973.
Williams, 34, has insisted that “22 has never been my goal,” but despite reaching three Grand Slam finals in a row this year, she had not been able to reach it.
She had not won a major championship since last year’s Wimbledon, losing in the semifinals at the 2015 United States Open and the finals at the Australian and French Opens this year.