Kerber 2-3 Ostapenko in first set

Toby Graves
July 13, 2018

As her top-seeded peers [correction: at No. 25, Williams would become the lowest seed ever to win Wimbledon] bent to the pressures of facing fearless underdogs, Williams approached every match knowing her opponents would play their best tennis against her and elevated her own game in response. "She's coming back. For me, I'm coming back from 2017", Kerber said.

'This was not inevitable for me, I had a really hard pregnancy and I had to have multiple surgeries, I nearly didn't make it. Yes, Wimbledon is a Slam she's won seven times before and one where she hasn't dropped a match since 2014.

The Wimbledon ladies' finals are set to have a double dose of royal glamour this weekend, as the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex are confirmed to be attending the match together on Saturday afternoon.

Responding to a question about her place in the Wimbledon hierarchy, the 23-time major victor said: "If there was a Wimbledon royalty, I would like to believe I would be Wimbledon royalty because I've done pretty well here in the past".

"It's not inevitable for me to be playing like this", Williams said.

Ahead of the tournament in London, Williams told "Good Morning America" that her body had changed after the baby. Belgian Kim Clijsters won the 2009 U.S. Open, 18 months after childbirth, then added two more Grand Slam titles before retiring in 2012. "I've been learning a lot from her".

But former world No 1 Kerber has denied Williams a top-level title before: the first of her two Grand Slam triumphs came when she beat the legendary American in the Australian Open final back in 2016. She was not going to dictate or control much.

A relatively routine 6-2, 6-4 semifinal victory over 13th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany on Thursday put Williams into her 10th final at the All England Club and moved her closer to a 24th Grand Slam title, which would equal Margaret Court's record. "So do I", Williams said. "Yeah, I have to be ready for the match of my life". In the other semi-final on the day, Angelique Kerber takes on Jelena Ostapenko. That's wildly impressive. Believe me, I know she wants to go out there and win.

'She's trying to, yeah, playing like she played the years before where she won the big matches.

"I don't want to limit myself", Williams said. "So I'm not even there yet".

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