Serena, Kerber set to clash in Wimbledon finalJuly 12, 2018 9:01pm

July 12-- LONDON-Serena Williams will compete for an eighth Wimbledon title against Germany's Angelique Kerber on Saturday after she dismissed Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals on Thursday.

It will be the 36-year-old American's first Grand Slam final since the 2017 Australian Open, where she won her 23rd major title, before taking maternity leave to give birth to a daughter last year.

"It's been a crazy 10 months," Williams said. "I was still pregnant at this time last year. That's something I have to keep reminding myself.

"I think mostly the hardest part was mentally letting go of a lot of mommy things in order to fully be 100 percent onto tennis.

"I'm so in a zone in terms of just wanting to keep playing. Being here and having an opportunity to play is super great for me."

Four breaks of serve were enough to see Williams through to the final in 70 minutes as Goerges was overwhelmed by the seven-time champion's powerful groundstrokes.

Williams goes on to meet Kerber-who conquered Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 earlier on Thursday-in a repeat of the 2016 final, which Williams won in straight sets.

"Serena is one of the best players in the world," Kerber said. "We had so many great matches in the last years. It's great to see her back. I know that she is always pushing you to the limits to play your best tennis. This is the only chance to beat her."

At the age of 29, Goerges was competing in her maiden semifinal of a Grand Slam, hoping to set up an all-German women's final with Kerber for the first time ever at Wimbledon.

However, Williams used all her strength and experience to prevail with a 10th semifinal success at the Championships, having only been beaten once at this stage in her career.

Williams powered her way through an exhilarating exchange to claim the first set.

Another break soon followed in the second set with Goerges' attempt at a short-slice winner falling short.

Goerges managed to get a break of her own as she diced Williams' chance to serve out the match.

But three errors on Goerges' delivery, culminating in a double-fault, opened match point for Williams, and a desperate lob sailed long to confirm her return to Wimbledon's main stage.

It will be a 30th appearance for Williams in major finals, and she will have the chance to equal Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 wins with another triumph.

Kerber is through to her second Wimbledon final after a commanding victory over Latvian Ostapenko in her semifinal.

The 21-year-old Ostapenko was in her first final-four clash at Wimbledon and the pressure of the occasion clearly overwhelmed her as she made 36 unforced errors to concede defeat in 67 minutes on Centre Court.

The young 2017 French Open champion was far too eager and erratic in her attempts to hit winners, and even though she hit 30 of them in the match, the errors she made outweighed them.

Kerber, who won Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and U.S. Open in 2016, was calm and collected throughout as she produced clean winners in the rallies and stood behind a firm serve to claim a deserved win.

Ostapenko capitulated in the second set, and her 25th unforced error fell into the net to hand Kerber a break as she pulled away to lead 3-0.

Even though Ostapenko rallied to delay defeat with her first break-point winner, Kerber outclassed her in a lengthy rally and earned a second chance to play for the Venus Rosewater Dish in Saturday's showpiece.

Kerber is now in her fourth final at a Grand Slam event and will face Williams for the third time in a major decider on Saturday.

"She's playing so well. I think she's incredibly confident," Williams said of Kerber.

"I have to be ready for the match of my life."


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