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Sunday 22 July 2018

Serena: Comeback has been ‘crazy’

WILLIAMS: Into the final. Photo: Ben Curtis/PA
WILLIAMS: Into the final. Photo: Ben Curtis/PA

Serena Williams will face Germany’s Angelique Kerber for an eighth Wimbledon title after the American powered past Julia Goerges 6-2 6-4 in the semi-finals yesterday.

Williams, 36, has returned to a Grand Slam final just ten months after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia.

Germany’s 13th seed Goerges was broken in the sixth game of each set as she lacked the firepower to prevent Williams from claiming a 20th consecutive win at the All England Club.

“It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel because I literally didn’t think I’d do this well in my fourth tournament back in 16 months,” said the American, who won the 2017 Australian Open while in the early stages of her pregnancy.

“When I don’t have anything to lose, I can just play so free and that’s what I’m doing,” added Williams.

“This is not inevitable for me, I had a really tough delivery and multiple surgeries and almost didn’t make it to be honest.

“I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final.

“I’m enjoying every moment.”

That enjoyment was clear to see as she dashed Goerges’s hopes of setting up an all-German final with Kerber in 70 unforgiving minutes.

Williams will be seeking a 24th Grand Slam title tomorrow in what will be a rematch of the 2016 final against Kerber,

which the American won.

Germany's Angelique Kerber will face Serena Williams in the final. Photo: Reuters
Germany's Angelique Kerber will face Serena Williams in the final. Photo: Reuters

Earlier in the day, two-time Grand Slam winner Kerber delivered a dominant performance to put away an erratic Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3.

Ostapenko, playing in her first Wimbledon semi-final, fired 30 winners but her 36 unforced errors allowed her opponent to take control of the match.

Kerber raced to an early lead in the second set before wrapping up the victory in 68 minutes, sealing a return to a Grand Slam final for the first time since winning the U.S. Open in 2016.

The last German woman to win Wimbledon was Steffi Graf in 1996.

“I think it was a really tough match,” the 30-year-old Kerber said.

“I was just trying to move good and take my chances. It’s such a great feeling to be back in the final. I’m really excited. It doesn’t matter (who I play),” added Kerber.

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