Serena sets up Kerber final

THE HANS INDIA |   Jul 13,2018 , 03:28 AM IST

Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber

London: Serena Williams demonstrated that having a baby had not robbed her of any of her phenomenal tennis skills when she became the first mother in 38 years to reach the Wimbledon final, with a 6-2, 6-4 demolition of Germany's Julia Goerges on Thursday.

The seven-time champion will meet Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who had things as easy against Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, winning 6-3, 6-3 in the earlier semi-final.

Goerges had come into her first Grand Slam semi-final having belted more winners (199), more aces (44) and more unreturned serves (113) than anyone else in the women's draw but those statistics counted for little when she came up against an opponent who is in hot pursuit of a record-equalling 24th major.

The 13th seed had never taken a set off Williams in three previous meetings and any hopes she might have harboured of setting up an all-German final with Kerber were dashed in 70 unforgiving minutes.

In each set Goerges was broken in the sixth game and she simply did not have the firepower or belief to stop the seven-times champion from surging to a 20th successive win on the hallowed turf.

Williams was back giving the crowd a one-arm raised victory twirl after reaching a 10th Wimbledon final after her opponent swiped a lob behind the baseline.

At 181st in the world, Williams, who gave birth to a daughter 10 months ago, is the lowest ranked player to reach the women's final but that number will fool no one, and especially not Kerber who was runner-up to the American in the 2016 final.

Earlier, Kerber proved too steady for error-strewn Ostapenko. A first-ever duel between the two Grand Slam champions with diametrically opposed playing styles ultimately boiled down to a simple mathematical formula. 

Young firebrand Ostapenko's 30 winners far outweighed the 10 struck by the wily Kerber but the 36 unforced errors she committed made for an ugly balance sheet.

The 30-year-old Kerber, who offered up only a miserly seven free points, really just had to stay calm and wait for her opponent to self-destruct and Ostapenko fell into the trap.

Former world number one Kerber needed only 68 minutes to reach her fourth Grand Slam final in which she will face either seven-times champion Serena Williams, who beat her in the 2016 final here, or fellow German Julia Georges.

The old adage of feel your way in to a match and start solidly does not appear to apply to Ostapenko who put together a crazy sequence to start her first Wimbledon semi-final.

Kerber was under pressure straight away on her own serve and the match might have taken a different course if Ostapenko had not blazed a forehand long at 30-30 with the court gaping.

The left-hander had to save a break point, too, at 2-3 -- conjuring an ace. But the match turned a game later.



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