Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Exceeding even her own expectations, Serena Williams rolls into Wimbledon final

Jelena Ostapenko Kerber books place in a second Wimbledon final
Michele Schwartz | 13 July, 2018, 03:21

Serena Williams has reached her 10th final at Wimbledon, 30th at all Grand Slam tournaments - and first since having a baby a little more than 10 months ago.

In Saturday's final, Williams, 36, will compete against another German player, No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber, herself a two-time Grand Slam champion. Williams has won 23 Grand Slams, one shy of Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 singles Grand Slam titles.

Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open victor, beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 in Thursday's early semifinal.

For the past 18 years, Smoller has been by Serena Williams's side for nearly every step.

Goerges could only find the tram lines with a forehand down the line as Williams forced the first break, and a swirling cross-court forehand proved too hard for her to return as the first set went the way of the imperious American.

"The last years, not only 2016 and 2017, also the years before, give me a lot of experience and to know what is really important in life, what's not, and what you have to focus on".

After getting broken by Goerges in the second set Thursday, Williams slammed the door on any thought of a rally by serving out the match with successive service blasts. Until the start of this tournament, that was the last match Williams played at Wimbledon.

All of the time away pushed someone who's spent more than 300 weeks ranked No 1 down the rankings - she began Wimbledon at 181st, but was seeded 25th on account of her past success - and no one could quite be sure how the American would fare over these two weeks. So I remember I couldn't even walk to my mailbox, so it's definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final. She's coming back and for me also I'm coming back from 2017.

Serena Williams is playing some of her best tennis, and she'll go for her eighth Wimbledon title on Saturday.

The 13th seed's response to falling a set and a break down was one of remarkable conviction and maturity, getting back on serve as Williams wobbled with an opportunity to close out the match and dropped her serve for just the seventh time in the competition.

But Serena had already made her mark on the tournament this year before she ever stepped foot on Centre Court. She's one match from making that happen, 10 months after childbirth. Second serve points won: Ostapenko (41 per cent), Kerber (73 per cent).

This year's final is the first repeat of a previous Wimbledon final since 2009, when Serena Williams faced Venus Williams for the fourth time in SW19, winning 7-6 (3), 6-2.

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