Wimbledon 2016 Ladies' Singles Final Preview: Serena seeks revenge over Kerber

Who will lift the Venus Rosewater Dish in SW19 tomorrow?

Wimbledon 2016 Ladies' Singles Final Preview: Serena seeks revenge over Kerber
In a repeat of this year's Australian Open final, who will emerge victorious on Centre Court tomorrow? (Photo: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images)

Wimbledon finals weekend begins on Saturday with the Ladies' Singles taking to Centre Court first, as Serena Williams faces Angelique Kerber for the prized Venus Rosewater Dish. 

As defending champion, Williams is regarded as favourite in her ninth and the German's first final at SW19. However Kerber will feel she has the psychological advantage over the top seed in a repeat of January's Australian Open final, where she stunned Serena in three sets at Melbourne Park.

With three places separating the two in the seedings and WTA rankings, there is little between both women who have handed only crumbs to their respective opponents en-route to Saturday's showpiece finale.

Kerber yet to drop a set

Kerber, remarkably, is yet to drop a set approaching her first All England Club final. The sextet of wildcard Laura Robson, Varvara Lepchenko, fellow German Carina Witthöft, Misaki Doi, Simona Halep and Venus Williams have all been swept aside with relative ease, the world number four having conceded just 39 games so far at the Championships.

Williams likewise has an almost blemish-free report. Compatriot Christina McHale was the only one to take a set off the seven-time winner in Round Two. Since then, Serena has not dropped a set and furthermore has lost just 18 games, dominating her matches.

Kerber is yet to drop a set at this years' Championships (photo:getty)
Kerber is yet to drop a set at this years' Championships. (Photo: Getty)

Arguably, however, Williams has not been tested sufficiently post-McHale, taking on contests where the winner of previous games seemed to expend their energy reserves at the behest of progression - in the case of Elena Vesnina for example, her semi-final opponent.

Kerber similarly has had an easy route following the early exits of the likes of French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska - following her defeat to Dominiká Cibulková in a classic - and seventh seed Belinda Bencic's withdrawal due to injury. She has though, as documented, defeated fifth seed Halep and number eight Venus Williams sister of Serena.

Serena aims for eighth Wimbledon crown

Serena will fancy her chances of adding an eighth SW19 crown to her silverware cabinet. In their last seven meetings, Williams has come out on top in five to Kerber's two - all of which were on hard court.

Before her defeat to Kerber on Rod Laver Arena, Williams had won all of their matches in straight sets. With the German winning the opening set in Melbourne however, Serena will know she must start strong in order to avenge her loss.

Also on the world number one's mind will be the fact she has lost her last two finals - both this season. Serena will instead look back to 12 months ago, when it was Spaniard Muguruza who she beat.  

Williams defeated Muguruza at SW19 12 months ago (photo:getty)
Williams defeated Muguruza at SW19 12 months ago. (Photo: Getty)

The statistics - albeit with a significantly less ratio - are on the side of Kerber, but if she is to make it 100% in slam finals, she will need to up her rather sloppy semi-final first-set performance, where she dropped her serve three times.

Serena Williams undoubtedly has the power game to usurp Angelique Kerber, but the German's game has improved immeasurably over the last five years.

On grass alone, Kerber has come into her own. Losing to eventual finalist Eugenie Bouchard in South-West London two years ago, she won Birmingham last year in the warm up to Wimbledon. 

Kerber has upped her mentality most recently and the final result may come down to dexterity and will, more than brawn. Serena's ability to hustle has kept her at the top of the game for almost 14 years now, but she will have to be at her very best to beat Kerber and exorcise the demons of the last six months.