Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber set for Wimbledon final
Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will meet for a second time in the Ladies' singles final Wimbledon
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 14/07/18 5:30pm
Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will meet in the Wimbledon Ladies' singles final on Saturday, two years after they last duelled for the coveted Venus Rosewater Dish.
Williams and Kerber booked their places in the showpiece event with straight-sets victories over Julia Goerges and Jelena Ostapenko respectively. Both have dropped just one set since the start of the Championships.
VOTE: Wimbledon women's winner
After an opening week full of high-profile exits, who will take the opportunity to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish?
For the seven-time Wimbledon champion, Williams, a victory on Saturday afternoon would see her equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. It would also complete one of the most impressive comebacks from maternity leave by any female athlete, in any sport.
The American's 6-2 6-4 semi-final victory over Goerges was just her 13th match after giving birth to her daughter Olympia, a birth that was emotionally and physically traumatic for the 36-year-old.
There are some that believed that her head-turning comeback was bound to happen quickly, but the winner of 23 Grand Slam titles is not someone who subscribed to that theory.
"This is not inevitable for me. I had a really tough delivery, and I had to have multiple surgeries and almost didn't make it, to be honest," said Williams.
"I lost count after four surgeries because I was in so many surgeries. It was just routine every day, I had to have a new surgery. Because of all the blood issues I have, I was really touch-and-go for a minute.
"I'm glad no one told me at the time I was going through that. It was tough. There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox."
Since day one at the All England Club, Williams has built game upon game, match upon match and has found her sharpness on the grass.
Her series of victories leading into this final has seen her extend an unbeaten Wimbledon run to 20 matches, dating back to a third-round loss against Alize Cornet in 2014.
The world No 10, Kerber, is the only woman to have reached the second week of every Grand Slam so far this season.
A semi-final appearance at the Australian Open was followed up by a quarter-final appearance at Roland-Garros and in total she has reached the last eight in 10 of her 12 tournaments.
Even with her good form, the left-hander knows that she will need to find top gear on Saturday afternoon.
"Wimbledon is a really special place. I think everybody knows this tournament. It would be really special to win. But it's still a long way off. I know that I have to play my best tennis in the final," Kerber said.
I know it will be a full house there. The atmosphere will be amazing. I'm looking forward to having the feeling again.
The Centre Court stage is renowned for its unique and intense atmosphere. It's an environment, particularly on finals weekend, that can make players feel ten-feet tall or overwhelm them with nerves.
"For sure it's really special. I know it will be a full house there. The atmosphere will be amazing. I'm looking forward to having the feeling again," commented the 2012 Wimbledon semi-finalist and 2016 finalist.
"The last years, not only 2016 and 2017, also the years before, give me a lot of experience and to know what is really important in life, what's not, and what you have to focus on."
Did you know...
Angelique Kerber would be the first German woman to win the Wimbledon ladies’ singles title since Steffi Graf in 1996.
On Centre Court, Kerber will be focused on turning around the 6-2 deficit that she holds in the head-to-head standings with Williams.
The last encounter between the two was their 2016 Wimbledon final and it remains their only clash on grass to date. On that day, a tense first set went down to the wire, 7-5, before a more decisive second also finished in Williams' favour, 6-3.
In SW19, the German's consistency and ability to make her opponents keep playing one more shot has been a great strength. It was shown in full effect during her semi-final against Ostapenko when she made just seven unforced errors during the course of the match.
Defensively she is outstanding and with the Venus Rosewater Dish on the line, adding the right psychological state to that ability will be crucial.
Williams is very much at home in the Wimbledon ladies' singles final, this will be her 10th final at the All England Club. On Saturday, Kerber must show that she is too in order to disrupt what would be a remarkable comeback by her opponent.
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Our next tennis action comes from the German Open in Hamburg. Watch the action live on Sky Sports Arena from Monday, July 23 from 10am.
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