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Wimbledon 2018: Final Countdown

Wimbledon 2018: Final Countdown

She defeated Germany's Julia Gorges 6-2, 6-4, in the Wimbledon semifinals on Thursday, continuing her absolutely remarkable return to tennis.

The left-handed Kerber, a former No. 1 and two-time major champion, used a seven-game run to beat 12th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3.

Wimbledon continues Friday with the men's semifinals: Rafael Nadal playing Novak Djokovic for a 52nd time, most between two men in the Open Era (Djokovic leads 26-25), and American John Isner against South African Kevin Anderson in a match of first-time Wimbledon semifinalists. I lost count after, like, four surgeries because I was in so many surgeries.

Kerber had to fend off another break point in her next service game, but eventually got the job done to book her fourth career grand slam final. The ball is hit flat and is nearly always searching for the lines, an approach that does nothing to manage the margin for error. But it was Kerber who played the smarter game, keeping her cool, counter-punching whenever possible, and refusing to be rattled by the screaming winners that her opponent hit time and again.

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. And waited for the Latvian to make the mistakes, which she did. But Kerber settled that niggle with an ace and went on to hold.

Having fallen from a year-end ranking of World No.1 in 2016 out of the Top 20 in 2017, Angelique Kerber has had a resurgence this year, compiling a 38-10 Tour-level record in 2018 and reaching at least the quarterfinals in 10 of her 12 tournaments (the exceptions being a second-round retirement in Stuttgart to Anett Kontaveit and a first-round loss in Mallorca to Alison Riske).

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Remarkably, neither Ronaldo nor Messi have managed to score a single goal in a knockout tie in four World Cups going back to 2006. With or without Ronaldo, Portugal will return to the field on September 10, when it will make its Nations League against Italy.


The statistics told the story. By the end, Ostapenko had far more winners, 30-10, and far more unforced errors, 36-7. Second serve points won: Ostapenko (41 per cent), Kerber (73 per cent).

Two weeks on from that outing, Williams has reached her first Grand Slam final since becoming a mother, only 10 months after giving her birth to daughter Olympia.

A jubilant Williams celebrated with relish as she closed out victory with a break of serve to love on the Goerges delivery.

The second set followed a similar pattern with Goerges showing both courage and promise in the first half and then falling away a little in the next. After allowing Williams to reach deuce, the German then had to conjure a victor to save a break point before holding.

Serena Williams will have royalty in the stands when she plays in the women's final at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Also, the chance to demonstrate that she is still the very best in the business.


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