Serena Williams swept aside Julia Gorges in straight sets Thursday to book her place in the 2018 Wimbledon final. Williams won that one for a second consecutive title at the All England Club, before missing the grass-court tournament previous year while pregnant. I think grass is her best surface and she plays so well here.
That title pushed her past Steffi Graf's record of 22 majors in the half-century professional era; Court won some of her Slams during the amateur era.
"It's insane. 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.
After giving birth to daughter Olympia last September, Williams dealt with issues including blood clots, and she's been wearing compression leggings this fortnight as a precaution.
As top seed after top seed failed to advance past the early rounds, Serena sailed, dropping only one set in six matches.
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"I was just trying to playing my own match". I'm enjoying every moment. Belgian Kim Clijsters won the 2009 U.S. Open, 18 months after childbirth, then added two more Grand Slam titles before retiring in 2012.
In the first set, the experienced Kerber broke twice while the only break-point Ostapenko earned was when she was leading 3-2. Suddenly, Williams' place in another All England Club final began to seem all but assured - while also feeling like entirely too much to expect so soon. When serving for the match, Williams fell behind 0-40, and Goerges broke on her third opportunity with a flashing forehand, slammed deep into the far corner.
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.
Also, the chance to demonstrate that she is still the very best in the business. In the week leading up to her first-round match against Viktoriya Tomova, Williams posted a daily countdown on Instagram that included flashback Wimbledon photos and uplifting sentiments.
It took Kerber two tries to serve out the victory, getting broken to 5-2. Win or lose, she was defying odds and outperforming even the most optimistic predictions for her first year back on tour. "For me, I only see joy out of it", Williams said with a smile.