Serena Williams could claim her eighth Wimbledon title today, in her hotly anticipated final clash with Germany’s Angelique Kerber. The tie will be Williams’ first Grand Slam final following her return to professional tennis after giving birth to her daughter Alexis, and the 36-year-old has admitted that she is preparing for the ‘match of her life’.
Upon making her return to tennis following nearly 11 months on the sidelines, Serena Williams appeared a shadow of her former self. Indeed, at 36-years of age, there were no guarantees that Williams would ever fully regain the mesmerising form that had seen her win 23 Grand Slam titles between 2002 and 2017. After early exits at Indian Wells, Miami, and the Roland Garros, it seemed that the Williams era may be finally coming to an end. At Wimbledon however, Serena has steadied herself, concentrated on each individual match, and gradually improved as the tournament has progressed. Like every great champion, Serena has bounced back against the odds.
The only thing standing between Williams and her dream Wimbledon return is Angelique Kerber. Kerber has been in impressive for over the last couple of months, reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open, enjoying a semi-final run at Eastbourne, and seeing off the likes of Naomi Osaka, Daria Kasatkina, and Jelena Ostapenko en route to the Wimbledon final.
Williams said of Kerber: “I feel like she’s been playing really well. I think grass is her best surface and she plays so well here. She knows how to play on this court. She does it well,
“It’s her second final in three years, is that right? That’s wildly impressive. Believe me, I know she wants to go out there and win. So do I. She’s playing so well. I think she’s incredibly confident. Yeah, I have to be ready for the match of my life.”
Williams has won six of her eight previous matches against Kerber, beating the German at the 2016 Wimbledon final and the final of the 2014 Stanford Classic. Kerber’s most recent victory over Williams came in the final of the 2016 Australian Open. Both players have won eight of their last 10 competitive matches.