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Serena Williams reaches Wimbledon final months after returning from maternity leave

14 July, 2018, 09:44 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Angelique Kerber

Kerber earlier beat Latvian 12th seed and 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3 in Thursday's first semi-final.

Serena Williams said "it's crazy" that she has managed to reach a 10th Wimbledon final, just 10 months after a series of life-saving surgeries which followed the birth of her daughter.

"It's insane. I don't even know how to feel because I literally didn't think I'd do this well in my 4th tournament back", Williams said ahead of Saturday's final, July 14. "I lost count after, like, four surgeries because I was in so many surgeries", Williams said.

"I had a really tough delivery and I had to have multiple surgeries". "I think it's just not fair".

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Serena Williams is not focused on simply matching and breaking Margaret Court's all-time Grand Slam record - she wants to smash it. She has won 23 Grand Slam titles in singles in her career so far, but this one would be different. But it was Kerber who played the smarter game, keeping her cool, counter-punching whenever possible, and refusing to be rattled by the screaming winners that her opponent hit time and again. In the quarter-finals, she dropped the first set against Camilia Giorgi, ranked No.52, and had not faced a seed until playing the 13th-seeded Goerges.

"It was quite tough but I'm happy to be through". Court gave birth to her first child - a son, Daniel - in March 1972 and returned to the circuit later that season. "There was definitely pressure towards the end", said Williams, who also completed the Serena Slam in 2003.

Kerber had beaten Williams in the Australian Open final in January, but the German couldn't produce another shock.

Mitchell Ikoghode, 31, holding her 10-week-old son Noah, said: "It's wonderful".

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When Serena walks onto Centre Court to face Angelique Kerber in Saturday's final, it will mark the culmination of an incredible journey that serves as a testimony to the 36-year-old's determination and belief. "This is the only chance to beat her". But there is no statistic fantastic enough to convey the implausibility of the outcome - a 6-2, 6-4 win over Goerges that at once felt predetermined, yet unthinkable just a short time ago.

If Ms Williams takes the title on Sunday, she will write herself into the Wimbledon history books.

By the time a Goerges drop-shot drifted into net to present Serena with the decisive break in the sixth game of the second set, the contest had already been sapped of any drama and moments later the title favourite was waving to the crowd in celebration. "It's not inevitable for me to be playing like this". Or, more to the point on this afternoon, how such a stinging serve and big groundstrokes didn't help her avoid first-round exits each of the past five years at Wimbledon. She's also won her past 15 Grand Slam matches since the start of the 2017 Australian Open, which she won while pregnant.

Her only setback came when she was unable to serve the match out at 5-1 in the second set as Ostapenko made one last stand.

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Wimbledon continues Friday with the men's semifinals: Rafael Nadal playing Novak Djokovic for a 52nd time, most between two men in the Open Era (Djokovic leads 26-25), and American John Isner against South African Kevin Anderson in a match of first-time Wimbledon semifinalists.

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