Serena to face Kerber in Wimbledon final

But it was Kerber who played the smarter game, keeping her cool, counter-punching whenever possible, and refusing to be rattled by the screaming winners that her opponent hit time and again. "I had a really tough delivery. and nearly didn't make it, to be honest", Williams said.

"It's no secret I had a super tough delivery".

"I'm glad no one told me at the time I was going through that". "These are the matches I was working for as a kid and to be in the final at Wimbledon is great".

"It's like, come on guys, this is pretty awesome".

"It's insane. I don't even know how to feel", Williams said after the match.

Williams, 36, arrived at the All England Club ranked 181 in the world and seeded 25th but these numbers have been fooling no-one.

Serena Williams demonstrated that having a baby had not robbed her of any of her phenomenal tennis skills when she became the first mother in 38 years to reach the Wimbledon final, with a 6-2 6-4 demolition of Germany's Julia Goerges on Thursday.

Against Gorges she appeared to conserve energy by not running for the balls she was unlikely to make but then occasionally charged forward to the net to finish off a point and show she could still move around the court well.

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.

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.

"She's playing so well".

"To be perfectly honest, I haven't thought about that this tournament. Yeah, I have to be ready for the match of my life".

It seems her progress since her return - which included reaching the fourth round at the French Open last month but withdrawing through injury - has surprised her.

"It wasn't as tight as I was used to", she said last month. "I literally didn't expect to do this well in my fourth tournament back in 16 months". "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".

"A lot of people were saying, 'Oh, she should be in the final, '" the 36-year-old Williams said.

Williams says the problems she faced after the birth of Olympia have left her in constant fear of new complications arising with a pulmonary embolism. "That's pretty cool", Williams said of the British public's respect for her achievements.

  • Stacy Allen