Williams rewriting tennis history with return to dominance after hard childbirth

Saturday, 14 Jul, 2018

Serena Williams admits she's been surprised by her march to the Wimbledon final after only playing four tournaments since returning to the court.

"She knew how to win that match by her experience, and". It was tough. There was a time where I could barely walk to my mailbox.

Despite her maternity break, she is now into a Grand Slam final for the 12th consecutive year.

Now will come the sternest on-court test Williams has faced: Kerber, a former No. 1 and two-time major champion with a lefty stroke and never-give-up-on-a-ball defence. The German has had a much tougher run-in and I expect her to test Williams. "Because of all the blood issues I have, I was really touch-and-go for a minute". "But in a way, it's by far the best".

"Because I have Olympia".

Ranked 183 in the world before the Championships began, her performances have rendered the debate and controversy prior to the tournament about whether she should be seeded - she was eventually granted a discretionary seeding of 25 - absurd.

"Serena loves to turn it up a notch at every level and very few players can hold their nerve".

Even now, so fierce is Williams' on-court persona, she would have you believe that she was totally consumed by the prospect of winning.

At the beginning of the match, it seemed as if it may just work with the crowd-pleasing Ostapenko mixing her big boisterous hitting with some drop shots, as if to signal that she has soft hands as well.

A "crazy" journey that began with Serena Williams taking baby steps back into top-flight tennis following a 13-month maternity break has come nearly full circle at Wimbledon as the American stands just one win away from what would be a remarkable triumph.

Serena Williams will face Angelique Kerber on Saturday hoping to win an eighth Wimbledon singles title. The following year she won four para-cycling world titles before she became Britain's most successful female Paralympian by adding another three golds to her collection in Rio.

"I didn't know I would have such kind of traumatic thoughts, especially now that I have a daughter. I'm so in a zone in terms of just wanting to keep playing", she said. "I've played tennis for over 30 years, so I'm so used to [being] incredibly fit".

Asked about the historic dimensions of her potential triumph this weekend, Serena played down the implications to avoid giving her opponent even more motivation.

"Whatever happens, honestly", Williams said, "it's an incredible effort from me".

Mitchell Ikoghode, 31, holding her 10-week-old son Noah, said: "It's awesome".

"I think she had really many advantages because of that. It's just a number".

The left-hander lags behind Williams 6-2 in their previous meetings but one of her wins was in the Australian Open final in 2016, a year in which the German also claimed the U.S. Open and battled Williams in the Wimbledon final. The 30-year-old has bounced back from a awful 2017 and is close to the form that brought her the Australian and US Open titles two years ago.