Angelique Kerber defeated former champion Venus Williams in her second round match at the 2012 US Open in three sets 6-2 5-7 7-5 in front of the NY crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The German is on a great roll since last year’s US Open where she reached the semi final (which she lost to eventual winner Sam Stosur). Kerber was all business in the first set, with good serving and great groundies getting the better of a very inconsistent Williams in the many long rallies which characterised the set, to take it 6-2 in just half an hour.
She raced into a 2-0 lead in the second set and it seemed that she was well on her way to a relatively easy victory, as Williams’ legendary serve let her down and she continued to ramp up the unforced errors. Williams, a great fighter in her own right, had other ideas as she managed to break back to 2-2 and the two then went toe to toe until Kerber served for the second set and the match at 5-4. However, Williams managed to break the young German once more to level the score at 5-5, keeping her chances alive. The American then held for 6-5 and after a big battle for the 12th game, Williams finally hit the winner to take the set 7-5 in an hour and a quarter.
The loss of the second set seemed to break the spirit of Kerber, whose first serve percentage dropped like a stone and Williams, who was serving an average of one double fault in each of her service games too, dug deep and broke Kerber to go up 4-2. During the changeovers Kerber, sat with her towel over her head, a la Vera Zvonereva, trying to block out the support of the very partisan New York crowd which was seemingly getting to her. It seemed to have helped her as she managed to turn the set around and booking herself a place in the third round in 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Even though the American heroine lost, the diehard New York tennis fans who stayed until well after midnight for the one hour final set saw some amazing tennis on both sides of the net – and possibly the last singles match at the US Open of Venus Williams’ stellar career.