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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Serena trounces Goerges, sets up Kerber final at Wimbledon

PHOTOS: Serena trounces Goerges, sets up Kerber final at Wimbledon

Last updated on: July 12, 2018 21:16 IST

IMAGE: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates beating Germany's Julia Goerges in the semi-finals of the Wimbledon Championships on Thursday. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

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.

The seven-times champion will meet Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who had things as easy against Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, winning 6-3, 6-3 in the earlier semi-final.

 

Goerges had come into her first Grand Slam semi-final having belted more winners (199), more aces (44) and more unreturned serves (113) than anyone else in the women's draw but those statistics counted for little when she came up against an opponent who is in hot pursuit of a record-equalling 24th major.

IMAGE: Serena Williams and Julia Goerges meet at the net after their semi-final. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

The 13th seed had never taken a set off Williams in three previous meetings and any hopes she might have harboured of setting up an all-German final with Kerber were dashed in 70 unforgiving minutes.

In each set Goerges was broken in the sixth game and she simply did not have the firepower or belief to stop the seven-times champion from surging to a 20th successive win on the hallowed turf.

Williams was back giving the crowd a one-arm raised victory twirl after reaching a 10th Wimbledon final after her opponent swiped a lob behind the baseline.

At 181st in the world, Williams, who gave birth to a daughter 10 months ago, is the lowest ranked player to reach the women's final but that number will fool no one, and especially not Kerber who was runner-up to the American in the 2016 final.

Ostapenko self-destructs against Kerber

IMAGE: Germany’s Angelique Kerber celebrates after defeating Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Earlier, Kerber proved too steady for error-strewn Ostapenko as she reached her second Wimbledon final.

A first-ever duel between the two Grand Slam champions with diametrically opposed playing styles ultimately boiled down to a simple mathematical formula.

Young firebrand Ostapenko's 30 winners far outweighed the 10 struck by the wily Kerber but the 36 unforced errors she committed made for an ugly balance sheet.

The 30-year-old Kerber, who offered up only a miserly seven free points, really just had to stay calm and wait for her opponent to self-destruct and Ostapenko fell into the trap.

Former world number one Kerber needed only 68 minutes to reach her fourth Grand Slam final in which she will face either seven-times champion Serena Williams, who beat her in the 2016 final here, or fellow German Julia Georges.

The first game, served by Ostapenko, epitomised the match and illustrated just why the 21-year-old has become such a "must see" player on the WTA Tour and why watching American great Billie Jean King describes her style as "so much fun".

The old adage of feel your way in to a match and start solidly does not appear to apply to Ostapenko who put together a crazy sequence to start her first Wimbledon semi-final.

Double fault, forehand winner, backhand error, forehand winner, forehand error, backhand winner, backhand winner, ace.

IMAGE: Jelena Ostapenko’s aggressive game backfired in a blaze of unforced errors. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Kerber was under pressure straight away on her own serve and the match might have taken a different course if Ostapenko had not blazed a forehand long at 30-30 with the court gaping.

The left-hander had to save a break point, too, at 2-3 -- conjuring an ace. But the match turned a game later.

Consecutive Ostapenko backhand errors handed 10th seed Kerber the first break and she proceeded to win seven of the next eight games basically by defending well and serving solidly to move into a 5-1 lead in the second set.

Such is the damage Ostapenko can do when her game clicks that even the biggest leads look fragile and, when she suddenly landed some telling blows to claw back two games, a turnaround did not seem out of the question.

Kerber looked worried and Ostapenko had a point to close to within a game but she dumped a backhand return into net and then coughed up two more errors to hand Kerber victory.

Kerber is now back in a Grand Slam title match for the first time since beating Karolina Pliskova in the 2016 U.S. Open final -- having begun that year by stunning Serena Williams in the final of the Australian Open.

After suffering a drastic slump in 2017, ending the year ranked outside the top 20, Kerber is back where she feels she clearly belongs.

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