For the 11th time, Serena Williams is headed to the Wimbledon final.
Williams defeated Barbora Strýcová in the semifinals on Thursday, beating her 6-1, 6-2. Williams was in control from the start, forcing Strýcová to play on her terms. Strýcová was never able to fully air out her game, and Williams had no problem nailing down the win.
Straight sets for Serena!
She is now tied for second for the most major Final appearances in Men's & Women's tennis history 🐐🎾 pic.twitter.com/Ac709VK1eP
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 11, 2019
The women’s singles final will be full of drama. It’s Simona Halep’s very first trip to the Wimbledon final, and she’s the first Romanian woman to reach the final. Williams is also playing for some history of her own. She’s currently sitting at 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is one shy of Margaret Court’s record of 24. That’s a record that’s stood since 1973, and if Williams wins on Saturday she would tie it.
Court’s record is legendary, and Williams has apparently been obsessed with matching it. Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou told reporters that “he’s never seen something like” the effort she’s put in to match the record.
Williams is currently experiencing the longest gap between major titles in her career. She last won the Australian Open in 2017, when she was about eight weeks pregnant with her daughter, Olympia. Since then she’s become a mother and experienced postpartum complications from the birth, including a pulmonary embolism that kept her bedridden for six weeks. Her road back has been tough, and though she’s come close to winning a singles title since then (she was the runner up in the 2018 U.S. Open), she hasn’t been able to get there.
But according to Mouratoglou, Williams is pain-free and in top form. When she and Halep play each other on Saturday, there will be history made no matter who wins. We’ll either see the first Romanian woman win the Wimbledon women’s singles title, or we’ll see Williams tie Court’s legendary record.
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