Wimbledon | Williams spoils the German party
SERENA Williams set up a re-match of her 2016 Wimbledon final against Angelique Kerber bidding for her eighth title: “It’s crazy.”
Mum was the word as Williams prevented an all-German clash by defeating Julia Goerges 6-2 6-4 on Centre Court after confessing she almost died giving birth to daughter Olympia last September .
I didn’t expect to do well in my fourth competition back. I had nothing to lose. I played free Serena Williams
The American superstar, 36, is going for her eighth All England crown to move ahead of Steffi Graf and one behind record-holder Martina Navratilova. It would also secure her 24th Grand Slam title to equal the efforts of Australia’s Margaret Court.
She was controversially given a seeding despite her ranking of 181, which made her the lowest ranked player in the open era to make the last-four.
But she refuted claims that it has been a cakewalk to the final.
She said: “There was nothing inevitable about it. It was a tough delivery process with Olympia.
“Mulitiple surgeries and I almost didn’t make it. Couldn’t even walk to my mail box. It’s not normal that I’m in the Wimbledon final. I’m taking everything as it is.
“I didn’t expect to do well in my fourth competition back. I had nothing to lose. I played free.”
Her victory over Goerges, who had ended a run of five successive opening-round losses at the Championships, ensured her 35th Grand Slam final.
Williams was described as being a “great advert for all working mums across the world” by former British No.1 Sam Smith.
And she certainly dominated a player who had turned her career around after it appeared to be drying up three years ago, changing her set-up and moving from north to south Germany, developing a huge serve and a decent game.
But when Williams is the other side of the net, the aura of the opposition is bound to make any rival twitchy.
Legends Martina Navratilova and Billie-Jean King advised Georges to play the ball not the occasion.
And for the opening four games she did, with her serve, unusual in style as it is, effective.
But the serve let her down as she lost her rhythm on it for William to break for a 3-2 lead.
It let the German down again in her next service game and her American opponent cruised home.
Williams’ corkscrew serve was working like a dream as she continued to apply the pressure in the second set. And she broke for a 4-2 and looked to be heading towards victory.
But Williams was broken for the first time when serving for the match before gaining revenge on the German’s serve.