This year is quickly becoming a story of reinvention for Angelique Kerber and having already ruined the Williams’ sisters’ dreams twice this year, the German is well poised to make it three at Wimbledon.
The Ladies final sees Kerber face Serena Williams for the second time this year, having downed the American to claim her first Slam title in Australia.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Kerber, who had reached just one quarter-final in 13 Slam tournaments before this year’s Aussie Open.
Kerber spoiled Venus Williams’ dreams of another SW19 showdown with her sister in a straight sets semi-final success, and the 28-year-old is yet to drop a set so far.
The same can’t be said for Serena, who has had to fight and dig deep at regular intervals this summer.
The head-to-head records also support the American, with Serena claiming five of their seven meetings.
However the pair have never met on grass, and Kerber will take heart from Williams’ first-set struggles.
With an almost rhythmic pattern, Serena has come under fire from opponents in the opening set, only to then destroy them in the second.
Serena has dropped 23 games in the opening set at Wimbledon this year, compared to just 10 in the second set – including three bagels.
The 34-year-old hasn’t played anyone inside the top 10 across the past fortnight, and has arguably had an easier draw than Kerber, who has played two of the world’s top eight.
It remains to be seen then how Williams’ handles the step-up in opponent, especially early on.
The smart money could be on world number four Kerber to bag the opening set at 9/4.
Kerber prevailed in three sets in the Australian Open final, and though that was the first time the pair have gone beyond two, the 2/1 on exactly three sets on centre court could be a popular option.
Serena’s spell at the top has been incredible, but there has been evidence over the past fortnight that her wondrous powers could be beginning to wane.
In contrast, Kerber is enjoying her greatest year, and having already beaten Serena on the big stage once this season, looks well placed to do so again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.