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Serena Williams swept aside Julia Gorges in straight sets Thursday to book her place in the 2018 Wimbledon final.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles winner won their semi-final 6-2, 6-4 in just 70 minutes to reach her 10th Wimbledon singles final.

In the final, Williams will play Angelique Kerber after the German’s 6-3, 6-3 win over Jelena Ostapenko.

The American almost bagged an early break despite Gorges racing to a 40-0 lead in her first service game. After allowing Williams to reach deuce, the German then had to conjure a winner to save a break point before holding.

It was not until the sixth game that the seven-time Wimbledon champion had a breakthrough.

In an intense rally at 30-40, Williams stepped up a gear and forced an error from her opponent to take a 4-2 lead, and she followed that up with a comfortable hold.

Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times supplied the pair’s numbers before Gorges served to stay in the set:

The 13th seed’s resistance crumbled in the following game, though, as she double-faulted to allow Williams to break her to love and claim the opening set.

Tennis writer Tumaini Carayol noted how Williams has made great strides in such a short time since returning from maternity leave:

Gorges was solid to start the second set as she held her first two service games again, but just as in the first, Williams broke through in the sixth. After a double-fault helped hand Williams a break point, Gorges failed to clear the net with a drop shot.

The set looked to be following the same pattern as the first—Gorges had yet to earn a single break point in the entire match as she struggled to challenge Williams’ serve—but the 29-year-old finally did so as Williams attempted to serve for the match.

Gorges raced to a 0-40 lead and managed to convert the third break point with a venomous return to pull the score back to 5-4.

The German was unable to turn that break into anything resembling a comeback, however, as Williams quickly earned three match points in the following game and converted when Gorges sent a lob long.



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