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Serena nears eighth Wimbledon title

14 July 2018

Williams played a total of seven matches in 2018 before arriving at the All England Club, and she'll be playing her seventh match in the last two weeks when she meets 11th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany in the Wimbledon final on Saturday.

That would make her the first mother to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since Evonne Goolagong in 1980. At the 2016 Australian Open, Williams was attempting to tie Steffi Graf's Open era record with major win no. 22, but it was Kerber who left Melbourne with a Grand Slam title, beating Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the final. "I remember I couldn't even walk to my mail box, so it's definitely not "normal" for me to be in a Wimbledon final".

The 36-year-old's pregnancy ended with an extremely hard delivery that left her needing several operations to prevent life-threatening blood clots.

Williams has only dropped one set in six Wimbledon matches so far and that, alone, is an impressive feat.

"It's no secret I had a super tough delivery". "I think it's wonderful that she's even had time and made the effort [to get back to that level]", she said.

"Because of all the blood issues I have, It was really touch-and-go for a minute".

'But as I said in the past couple years, I don't want to limit myself.

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"I don't know if it's been the toughest, because I have Olympia. It's such a pleasure and a joy [to be in the final] because less than a year ago, I was going through so much".

After each win this fortnight, Williams returned to social media to post motivational memes - "Make this week greater than your last", she wrote on Manic Monday - and in her news conferences, she openly shared the perspective she gained by becoming a mom.

Will Serena match Court's record? She won the grass-court tournament the last two times she played it, in 2015 and 2016, before missing it previous year while pregnant.

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. Williams was not seeded for the 2018 French Open, the second major of the year, because WTA rulings mean women who return to tennis after having a baby only have their entry into tournaments protected - they do not have their actual seedings in the competitions protected.

It was the first time at these championships that the American had faced a player ranked in the top 50 and she stepped up with a powerful display that also showed better movement around the court than in previous rounds. I can't say it's not. "This was not inevitable for me".

However she has put in just a handful of public appearances since giving birth to Prince Louis in April and has not been seen since she watched her husband play at the polo last month. I've said it all week, this is only my fourth tournament back. "I think that's what I was doing in the past. It's just a number". "In case no one's told you yet today, I want to remind you that you are greater than your circumstances", she wrote two days out, as if aware she was building up to something worth commemorating. "I still have a match to win, so I'm not even there yet".

Serena nears eighth Wimbledon title