Wimbledon 2018: Angelique Kerber beats Jelena Ostapenko to reach women's final

Kerber's at full stretch to make a return

Two years ago at this very place, on serve and chasing Serena Williams 6-5 in the opening set of the Wimbledon final, Angelique Kerber double-faulted and handed the set to Williams, who went on to win her seventh title here, 7-5, 6-3.

That would make her the first mother to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since Evonne Goolagong in 1980. Four tournaments after her pregnancy, Serena is back where he'd always wanted to be, in contention to tie Australia's Margaret Court on 24 Grand Slam singles titles, the all-time record. "I remember I couldn't even walk to my mail box, so it's definitely not "normal" for me to be in a Wimbledon final".

It was a cathartic moment for the 36-year-old, who endured severe labour complications that left her needing life-saving operations.

There was one brief blip to come: Williams got broken for the only time while serving for the match at 5-3. To hear people say, 'Oh, she's a favorite.' Like, the last 16 months, I've played in four tournaments and was carrying another human half that time.

"Because of all the blood issues I have, It was really touch-and-go for a minute".

"We had so many great matches in the last years", Kerber said.

"I don't know if it's been the toughest, because I have Olympia. For me it's such a pleasure and a joy because less than a year ago I was going through so much stuff".

The 23-time Grand Slam champion insists the pain was all worthwhile now she has her first child with her at Wimbledon.

If anyone would be able to return from such a debilitating experience, it would be Serena. She was unable to find the court.

She arrives in her 30th Grand Slam final - her 10th at Wimbledon on a 20-match winning run on the lawns of south-west London.

'She's trying to, yeah, playing like she played the years before where she won the big matches.

An eighth Wimbledon title would also move her past Steffi Graf into second place on the list of female Wimbledon champions, behind nine-time victor Martina Navratilova.

"When she played against me today, I mean, I'm hitting the ball much harder than her, and she didn't have this opportunity to go for the shots", Ostapenko said after the 6-3, 6-3 loss. "It's not inevitable for me to be playing like this". Williams has discussed breastfeeding and the dilemmas surrounding when to give it up; crying when she missed her daughter's first steps while training; and not wanting Alexis Olympia to become a tennis player because she fears she would be unfavourably compared with her.

"To be perfectly honest, I haven't thought about that this tournament". 'Not even once actually. "I think that's what I was doing in the past".

The former world number one then capitalised on more poor play from Ostapenko, breaking her serve at the first time of asking in the second set and again in the sixth game. "These are the matches I was working for since I was a kid". That first game consisted of eight points: Three were unforced errors by Ostapenko, including a double-fault to begin the proceedings; the other five were winners by her, including a 100 miles per hour ace to close the hold.

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