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Serena Williams issues defiant statement of intent over Margaret Court record

12 July 2018
Serena Williams issues defiant statement of intent over Margaret Court record

Autograph hunters, selfie-seekers, memorabilia collectors, young, old, girls and boys, asking her to smile, telling her to keep going, calling her an inspiration.

She told BBC Sport: 'It's insane, I don't even know how to feel.

Williams is playing her fourth tournament since becoming a mother and is now the favourite to win the title.

Just two months after attending her friend Meghan's wedding to the Duke of Sussex in Windsor, Serena will perform in front of the new royal on Centre Court. "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".

She was, instead, going to employ spectacular defense and solid, steady play, while letting her opponent, Jelena Ostapenko, be the one to determine the outcomes of almost every point.

Kerber, who spent 34 weeks at world number one in 2016 and 2017, could be set for a rematch with Williams if the seven-time champion can get past Julia Goerges in the second semi-final.

Serena Williams swept aside Julia Gorges in straight sets Thursday to book her place in the 2018 Wimbledon final.

"I think she's the best player".

Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates defeating Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko in the Wimbledon semifinals.

The other semifinal sees two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber take on 2017 French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber remained solid amid an onslaught of winners and unforced errors from the more aggressive Ostapenko.

After giving birth to daughter Olympia last September, Williams was treated for blood clots. Williams has won all four of their encounters. The first of the ladies' semifinals was all about the former finalist Kerber's serving power, which was up at 87 per cent for most of the match, but sunk to (77 per cent 49/64) by the end of the clash.

"This is not inevitable for me". There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox.

The German was unable to turn that break into anything resembling a comeback, however, as Williams quickly earned three match points in the following game and converted when Gorges sent a lob long.

That title pushed her past Steffi Graf's record of 22 majors in the half-century professional era; Court won some of her Slams during the amateur era.

Leading 4-2, Williams powered into a one-set lead, breaking Goerges to love to move ahead.

The second set was quite simply a masterclass in precision groundstrokes from Kerber as she again broke early to seize the advantage.