Wimbledon 2018: How Serena, Kerber paved their way back to the final

Angelique Kerber in action

Angelique Kerber in action

Four tournaments after her pregnancy, Serena is back where he'd always wanted to be, in contention to tie Australia's Margaret Court on 24 Grand Slam singles titles, the all-time record.

It worked. The 11th-seeded Kerber reached her second final at the All England Club by avoiding too many mistakes and using a seven-game run to seize control for a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the 12th-seeded Ostapenko on Thursday.

Saturday's final will be a re-match of the 2016 showpiece, which Williams won. Really soak in the improbability of what the 23-time Grand Slam champion has accomplished so far this tournament. "I am a solicitor and I know how painful it is to go to work and then have to get up in the middle of the night". But she struck back immediately and looked to the sky when an attempted lob from Gorges flew out to give her the victory. She was unable to find the court. "I think it's incredible that she's even had time and made the effort [to get back to that level]", she said.

Williams then said she did not feel she deserved her status as the media's favourite for another Wimbledon title, as she had only "played four tournaments". I think that's what I was doing in the past, I was limiting myself. I had to have multiple surgeries and nearly didn't make it to be honest. "There was a time I could barely walk to my mailbox", said Williams.

After giving birth to daughter Olympia last September, Williams was treated for blood clots. But it's precisely that versatility, the ability to play both a counter-punching game and an aggressive game, that has landed her consistently in the final frames of the majors this year.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber reached her second Wimbledon final with a commanding performance against an error-prone Ostapenko. That first game consisted of eight points: Three were unforced errors by Ostapenko, including a double-fault to begin the proceedings; the other five were winners by her, including a 100 miles per hour ace to close the hold. Muguruza was making her major final debut and Serena exploited the youngster's nerves despite a brief wobble of her own late in the second set when she twice dropped serve.

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"She's been playing really well", Williams said after defeating Julia Goerges in straight sets to book her ticket to a 10th Wimbledon final. "It was quite tough but I'm happy to be through".

Once criticised by some for making the women's game predictable with her dominance, Williams has won people over by sharing her vulnerabilities and now stands close to a fairytale ending.

The 30-year-old hit only 10 winners but that was all it took to get the job done as Latvian 12th seed Ostapenko shot herself in the foot with 36 unforced errors.

Even for a player who missed eight months due to knee surgery after her 2003 Wimbledon win, another six in 2006, which she later blamed on depression, and had a year out after lacerating her foot on broken glass following her 2010 Wimbledon triumph, this comeback has perhaps been her biggest challenge.

Ostapenko saved a match point in the seventh and gained one break back, but it was not enough.

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