Sports

Krajicek: Serena will match Graf's mark

Angelique Kerber may have beaten Serena Williams in January's Australian Open final.

However, former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek does not believe the 28-year-old can repeat the feat when the pair meet again in the women's final today.

Kerber is looking to be the first German woman to triumph at Wimbledon since her idol Steffi Graf did 20 years ago, but Krajicek insists that it will be Williams instead who will match Graf's Grand Slam mark of 22 titles.

"Serena will win it. I favour her because it's grass, her favourite surface. She's a different player at Wimbledon. It's like she believes more and is much more aggressive," said Krajicek, FOX Sports' pundit at the All England Club, in a conference call yesterday.

"Despite what happened in Australia, I think Serena will overpower her in the Wimbledon final."

"I think she's mentally ready now to equal Steffi Graf's record," said Krajicek, whose sole Grand Slam title also came in 1996.

Graf won at Wimbledon on seven occasions, and holds the Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam titles. Williams, 34, will match both records if she beats Kerber.

SLIP

"I'm not saying an upset is impossible. Before the French Open final… I had a strong feeling that (Williams) would not win that one because she was struggling a little going into the final," said Krajicek of Williams' loss to Spain's Garbine Muguruza at Roland Garros, her second defeat in a Grand Slam final this year.

"But now, it's the opposite, she looks like the better player.

"Even though Kerber got a great result at the Australian Open, I don't think she can pull it off on grass against Serena. Serena is too strong, too good.

"She has missed too many opportunities to equal Graf's record and I think now she's in the right place mentally and she's going to do it." - SHAMIR OSMAN

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