Serena Williams and Angie Kerber dispatched of their opponents in straight sets on Thursday to set up a Wimbledon final featuring two former No. 1s and two players looking to reestablish a grip on the top of the game.
Williams, the No. 25 seed returning from the birth of her first child, will be looking for an eighth Wimbledon singles title and a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.
She defeated No. 13 seed Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4, with some drama in the second set as she was broken serving for the match. Williams then broke the German right back to seal victory and avert an all-German final at the All England Club.
“It’s crazy, I don’t even know to feel because I literally didn’t expect to do this well in my fourth tournament back in 16 months,” the 36 year old said afterwards.
Goerges, playing in her first Slam final at the age of 29, looked like she might make it a contest early on with her big serve, leading the tournament in aces, keeping her in the match but Williams pulled away for a 6-2, 5-2 lead before the German made it interesting at the end.
“When I don’t have anything to lose I can just play so free,” Williams said.
The final could be a different story, with a lot on the line, and one match separating her from history.
She will be up against Kerber who looks to be rounding into her former No. 1 form after taming the big-hitting former Wimbledon junior champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3.
“I’m really proud to be back in the Wimbledon final after especially last year where things weren’t like I was expecting actually,” Kerber said. “To being here again, that was a goal when I start this year, to playing good in majors, in the Grand Slams, and to be reaching the finals again. It’s a great feeling. It’s still one more match to go.
Now for sure [Williams] had a lot of big confidence, especially after the matches she won here already. She knows the feeling to going out on this stage where you are in the finals, especially here. She won here, I don’t know how many times. Yeah, she’s a fighter. She’s a champion. That’s why she is there where she is now.”
Williams leads the career head-to-head with Kerber 6-2, and the two haven’t squared off since Williams won their encounter two years ago in the Wimbledon final 7-5, 6-3.
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