Wimbledon Tennis 2018 Women's Final: Kerber vs. Williams Predictions

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates after beating Julia Georges of Germany in the ladies' semi finals at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
TPN/Getty Images

Serena Williams will equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles tennis titles on Saturday if she beats Angelique Kerber in the 2018 Wimbledon final.

The pair set up a rematch of the 2016 final on Thursday when the former beat Julia Gorges and the latter overcame Jelena Ostapenko in the semi-finals, with both players dropping just six games apiece in straight-sets victories.

Williams holds a 6-2 lead in their head-to-head record, and remarkably, their last two meetings have come in Grand Slam finals, both in 2016. 

Kerber won in three sets at the Australian Open that year, while Williams sealed victory in straight sets at Wimbledon.

Tennis writer Courtney Nguyen believes this meeting is a tough match to call:

For both players, it will be the biggest test either has faced at the All England Club in London this year.

Williams has won Wimbledon seven times, and this will be her 10th appearance in the final. In that sense, it's hardly a surprise to find her back there on Saturday. However, it's worth remembering she only made a competitive return to singles action a matter of months ago having spent time away from the game to give birth.

The 36-year-old was quick to shake off the notion that she expected to get this far at SW19. Per BBC Sport's Sonia Oxley, she said:

"This is not inevitable for me. It's no secret I had a super tough delivery. I lost count after, like, four surgeries because I was in so many surgeries. There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox.

"It's like, come on guys, this is pretty awesome. To hear people say, 'Oh, she's a favourite,' the last 16 months, I've played four tournaments, and was carrying another human half that time. It's interesting."

Tennis writer Tumaini Carayol was astounded with her progress as she comfortably dispatched Gorges:

Williams has been improving with each match at Wimbledon, as WTA Insider demonstrated:

Her clean play could be a warning sign for Kerber, whose counterpunching style will be relying on the American to make mistakes.

The German is on her way to rediscovering some of her best form, though, as former world no. 1 Tracy Austin noted:

Kerber showed little sign of nerves against Ostapenko, and her shot-making was superb.

She'll need to be at her best to win on Saturday, but Williams isn't nearly as reckless as Ostapenko with her shots, so it will be significantly more difficult for her.

It's hard to look past the No. 25 seed's record, too—in 29 Grand Slam singles finals, she has lost just six.

Kerber's resilience and energy will make this a tight match, but Williams may just equal Court's record on Saturday.

Prediction: Williams wins in three sets.

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