Serena Williams to Play Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon Ladies’ Final
(July 12, 2018) Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will meet in the Ladies’ final at Wimbledon on Saturday.
Williams reached her tenth final at the All- England Club by defeating 13th seed Julia Goerges of Germany 6-2, 6-4 in her semifinal match on Thursday. It was a little over 10 months ago that Williams gave birth to her daughter Olympia.
Williams said that she almost did not play.
“It’s no secret I had a super tough delivery,” she said. “I lost count after, like, 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 didn’t actually know until after my agent, Jill, who is actually more of a friend, but she was saying how much stress it was. I’m glad no one told me at the time I was going through that. Yeah, it was tough. There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox.
“A lot of people were saying, Oh, she should be in the final. For me it’s such a pleasure and a joy because, you know, less than a year ago I was going through so much stuff.”
The 36-year-old Williams stands a match away from making more history – winning her 8th title and her 24 major championship tying Margaret Court for the all-time record.
Williams said that she wasn’t thinking out the record: “To be perfectly honest, I haven’t thought about that this tournament. Not even once actually. In fact, I’ve probably forget about it, yeah.
“I think that’s a good thing because, you know, I put so much pressure on myself when I was trying to get to 18, then the rest, it was so much. But as I said in the past couple years, I don’t want to limit myself. I think that’s what I was doing in the past, I was limiting myself.
“It’s just a number. I want to get as many as I can, starting with — I still have a match to win, so I’m not even there yet.”
“I think I shouldn’t be too negative about that match today because I think today it was more about experience, not about hitting the strokes,” said Goerges. “I felt like I hit the ball pretty clean.
“Overall I think she knew how to win that match by her experience, and I didn’t have that stage in my career yet. I’m looking forward to getting there another time and getting more experience.
“But overall I’m not frustrated about the way I hit. I think that she steps up her game. Yeah, it’s a big word, which is ‘respect’ towards me that she brings her A game in a lot of important moments. I think that’s a positive way of thinking and approaching maybe the next time, as well.”
Goerges may not have reached the final, but another countrywoman did for the second time. Angelique Kerber, the 11th seed defeated 2017 French Open winner and 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 in the first Centre Court match on Thursday.
“I was expecting that she is playing like she played from the beginning: really hard, pushing me back,” said the former No. 1 and two-time major champion. “I was trying to, yeah, staying in my focus and playing every single point because she start really well. Then I was just trying to finding my rhythm and taking my chances when I had it.
“In the second set, it was at the end a little bit tricky because you never know what’s going on. She can be down, then she is coming stronger back. So I was trying to, yeah, staying in the moment.”
As for playing Williams again in the final in a rematch of the 2016 final, Kerber said: “I’m looking forward to playing against her. I mean, it’s always an honor to playing against her.”
“She’s always going out there to win the matches. I think it doesn’t matter against who she is playing. She’s trying to, yeah, playing like she played the years before where she won the big matches. Now for sure she had a lot of big confidence, especially after the matches she won here already. She know the feeling to going out on this stage where you are in the finals, especially here. She won here I don’t know how many times.”
“Serena is one of the best players in the world. I mean, we had so many great matches in the last years. To seeing her back, it’s great.
“Yeah, I know that she is always pushing you to the limits to play your best tennis. This is the only chance to beat her.”
“Yeah, she’s a fighter. She’s a champion. That’s why she is there where she is now.”
Williams will have a special fan watching her in the Royal Box on Saturday – her friend the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. Williams attended her wedding.
More to follow….