Kerber through to Wimbledon final after easy win over Ostapenko

Kristopher Nichols
July 13, 2018

Williams is not shy about saying she, for one, is impressed by this.

The first two points played by Ostapenko - who won the French Open in 2017 and crashed out in the first round the following year - were emblematic of the match. Williams, who over the years has introduced variety into her play, threw up a lob to set-up breakpoint, which she duly converted to take a 4-2 lead.

After taking tentative steps in her return to the sport in which she has always been the dominant force, just 13 matches into her comeback and ranked 181st in the world, she appeared to be working at the level that enabled her to win 23 Grand Slams.

"Pregnancy will not be penalized", USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said last month.

The 13th seed's resistance crumbled in the following game, though, as she double-faulted to allow Williams to break her to love and claim the opening set.

Well, it looks like the USTA won't have to worry about it.

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But if the rest of his team-mates don't pick up their performances, it may end up being inconsequential what he does. The win over Nigeria was routine but uninspired, while the 2-1 victory over tiny Iceland was only secured late on.

The left-handed Kerber, a former No. 1 and two-time major champion, used a seven-game run to beat 12th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3. So I remember I couldn't even walk to my mailbox, so it's definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final. Or, more to the point on this afternoon, how such a stinging serve and groundstrokes didn't help her avoid first-round exits each of the past five years at Wimbledon.

"I was expecting a few more baby steps myself", she said.

Serena Williams is bidding to become the fourth mother to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era, following Margaret Court (Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open 1973), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (Wimbledon 1980) and Kim Clijsters (US Open 2009, 2010, Australian Open 2011).

Serena Williams will have royalty in the stands when she plays in the women's final at Wimbledon on Saturday.

But against Williams, who hit the fewest unforced errors among the four remaining players before the semifinals, she had a mountain to climb.

In the first set, the experienced Kerber broke twice while the only break-point Ostapenko earned was when she was leading 3-2. A break and a consolidation gave Williams another 5-2 lead. 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. "I'm happy and proud to be back in a Grand Slam final, it's what I was working for since I was in a kid".

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