Serena was often forced out of position, obliged to react quickly and struggled to find the space she needed to hit big. A performance for the ages.
Both of the Duchesses were serving up some Wimbledon-chic looks for the occasion. But for the majority of this fortnight, most of us missed it.
It was Kerber's third title at the majors to add to her Australian Open and US Open triumphs in 2016. However, her efforts were not enough to reverse the course of the game as the tenacious Kerber regained her composure to seal a 6-3 win in the opening set.
The pair, who are playing each other for the 53rd time, will have to finish their match on centre court, with the roof closed to replicate the starting conditions, before Williams can face her German rival.
The 30-year-old German lost to Williams in the 2016 Wimbledon final. "I was really happy to get this far". "She was striking the ball out there today".
"It's just a dream come true again" said Kerber during the trophy ceremony.
Now she just needs to win the French Open to complete the career Grand Slam. Williams first came back by playing doubles with her older sister, Venus, for the U.S. Fed Cup team in February. "I want to get as many as I can, starting with - I still have a match to win, so I'm not even there yet".
She was off the tour for more than a year after her Australian Open title in January 2017 - won while she was pregnant, she later revealed. I think that's what I was doing in the past, I was limiting myself. I tried to enjoy every single moment now. "I'm obviously disappointed but I can't be - because I'm literally just getting started". But, to be fair, Angelique had similar success on her path towards the final. As the women ranked above her toppled like dominoes in the Wimbledon wind, the story became their defeat instead of the fact that Kerber was plowing through the draw. She didn't care to be the story - not until she did something worth writing about.
Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams at the end of their match.
Angelique Kerber claimed her first Wimbledon title with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over seven-time champion Serena Williams.