Wimbledon final: Serena shocked, Kerber pumped
LONDON, United Kingdom – Serena Williams said "it's crazy" that she has managed to reach a 10th Wimbledon final, just 10 months after a series of life-saving surgeries which followed the birth of her daughter.
The 36-year-old American eased past Germany's Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4 and will face another German, Angelique Kerber – her 30th Grand Slam championship match.
"It's crazy. I don't even know how to feel because I literally didn't think I'd do this well in my 4th tournament back," Williams said ahead of Saturday's final, July 14.
A victory will give her an 8th Wimbledon title and 24th Grand Slam crown, taking her level with Margaret Court's all-time mark.
It's a staggering achievement for Williams, who defeated Kerber in the 2016 final at the All England Club before sitting out the 2017 tournament to prepare for motherhood.
Seeded 25 this year and with a world ranking of 181, Williams insists she will be the underdog against Kerber despite boasting a 6-2 career lead over the 30-year-old left-hander.
"I don't have anything to lose and I feel I can play so free. That's what I'm doing," Serena said.
Meanwhile, It will be world number 10 Kerber's first Grand Slam final since she won the second of her two major titles at the 2016 US Open.
"It's such a great feeling to be back in the final. Playing on Centre Court is always great,"said Kerber, who's bidding to become the first German woman to win Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996.
Referencing her dismal form last year, Kerber added: "2017 is over and I'm really happy about that. We are in 2018!
"I'm really happy and proud to be in a Grand Slam final. These are the matches I was working for since I was a kid."
Kerber raced into her second Wimbledon final as the German crushed former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 in just 67 minutes on Thursday, July 12.
Wimbledon is just Williams' 4th tournament since she signed off the tour with the 2017 Australian Open title.
"This is not inevitable for me. I couldn't even walk to my mailbox, so it's definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final. I'm just enjoying every moment," Williams added.
Her daughter Olympia was born in September, but Williams then underwent emergency surgery to prevent life-threatening blood clots.
"It's no secret I had a super tough delivery. I lost count after, like, four surgeries because I was in so many surgeries," said Williams after her semifinal win on Thursday.
"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."
She was bed-ridden for 6 weeks and only returned to the tour in March.
Williams says the problems she faced after giving birth have left her in constant fear of new complications arising with a pulmonary embolism.
"For me, having to deal with PEs is more mentally challenging because if I have a pain in my leg, I automatically go to the worst-case scenario," she said.
"That is not very easy. I mean, even this week, I had a pain in my leg, and I went to the worst-case scenario: Oh, my God, I have a PE in my leg.
"I didn't know I would have such kind of traumatic thoughts, especially now that I have a daughter.
"I want to be around as long as I can to support her. It's interesting how that mental recovery is actually taking much longer than I ever expected." – Rappler.com