Just 10 months after giving birth, Serena Williams can complete her incredible comeback in Saturday’s Wimbledon final against Angelique Kerber as she bids to become the first mother to win the tournament for 38 years.
Williams is playing only her fourth tournament since the arrival of daughter Olympia in September and is now just one win away from her eighth Wimbledon title. That would make her the first mother to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since Evonne Goolagong in 1980.
Williams can also equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles if she beats Kerber. Court and Kim Clijsters are the other mothers to have won Majors — making William’s presence in the final even more incredible given the difficulties she has endured since she last played at Wimbledon in 2016.
The 36-year-old’s pregnancy ended with an extremely difficult delivery that left her needing several operations to prevent life-threatening blood clots.
“It’s no secret I had a super tough delivery. I lost count after, like, four surgeries because I was in so many,” Williams said after beating Julia Goerges to reach her 10th Wimbledon final.
“In a way, it’s by far the toughest year for me, but in a way it’s by far the best. Because I have Olympia. For me, I only see joy out of it.”
If anyone would be able to return from such a debilitating experience, it would be Serena.
Making a mockery of Wimbledon’s decision to seed her a lowly 25th, Williams has powered through the draw, getting stronger with each match.
She arrives in her 30th Grand Slam final — her 10th at Wimbledon on a 20-match winning run on the lawns of south-west London.
That streak dates back to Williams’ titles on her last two visits in 2016 and 2015 and she is the odds-on favourite to see off Kerber, who she beat in the All England Club title match two years ago. “Being here and having an opportunity to play is super great for me.”
Asked about the historic dimensions of her potential triumph this weekend, Serena played down the implications to avoid giving her opponent even more motivation.
“To be perfectly honest, I haven’t thought about that this tournament. Not even once actually,” said Williams, who will be cheered on from the Royal Box by her friend the Duchess of Sussex.
“It’s just a number. I want to get as many as I can. I still have a match to win, so I’m not even there yet.”
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