Serena Williams shows champions class with humble congratulations to Angelique Kerber 4 years ago

Serena Williams shows champions class with humble congratulations to Angelique Kerber

The wait for a record-equalling Grand Slam victory rolls on to Paris.

Serena Williams has stalled on Grand Slam title No.22 but she will be back.

The American lost the Australian Open final, in Melbourne, today as Angelique Kerber claimed the joust in three captivating sets.

After Williams won five of the first six points, another rout looked on the cards. However, Kerber won the first set 6-4 and looked good value for it.

Williams, as is her wont, fought back in aggressive style and claimed the second set 6-3.

Kerber was undeterred however and raced to a 5-2 lead before finally closing out the set, 6-4. Despite the anguish of losing, Williams was the first to wrap the German in a warm embrace.

Post-match, Williams was just as gracious. She said:

"Angie, congratulations. You did so well. Let me be the first to congratulate you.

"I'm so happy for you and I hope you can enjoy this moment. You truly deserve it."

As for Kerber, who in winning claimed her first Grand Slam crown, she told a rapt crowd that her victory was the realisation of a lifelong dream.

For now, Steffi Graf's total of 22 Grand Slams remains the benchmark in women's tennis.