Serena Williams dominated her Wimbledon semifinal match Thursday, advancing to the final after a 6-1, 6-2 showing against Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic. After battling to a 2-2 tie in the second set, Williams broke Strycova in the fifth game.
The 37-year-old American asserted her power from there. As ESPN commentator Chris Fowler put it, Williams “bludgeoned” her opponent with her trademark power.
Since the tournament started back on July 1, Williams has only lost two sets. She is looking for her eighth title at the All England Club, which would trail Martina Navratilova by one. This could also be her third win in the last five Wimbledon’s.
Standing in her way is No. 7 seed Simona Halep. The two will face off on Saturday at Centre Court at 10 a.m Eastern time on ESPN. The 2018 French Open champion waltzed past Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3.
“It was not (as) easy as the score shows,” said Halep, who sported a 26-10 edge in winner, to ESPN. “It’s an amazing feeling and I’m really excited — and also nervous because of this. It’s one of the best moments of my life.”
Halep has never played in a Wimbledon final. Her previous best appearance was a semifinal berth in 2014. Meanwhile, this is Williams’ 11th appearance.
Serena Williams & Andy Murray Are Done in the Mixed Doubles
Williams and England’s Andy Murray were a popular pair for the mixed doubles. After winning the first four sets to advance to the Round of 16, the duo lost to the No. 1 seeded Nicole Melichar and Bruno Soares 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Despite falling short, she still considered the pairing a success.
“I think to play on this stage with Andy, who has done so well here for so many years, is literally just a lifetime experience,” she said to the BBC. “I’m so happy that I got to experience it.”
Williams and Murray drew vocal fans on social media, while the events drew significant interests due to the novelty of two champions playing on the same team. Melichar, for one, thinks that mixed pairing such as Williams and Murray should happen more to help grow the sport.
“Mixed doubles is such a special sport, and so much fun for us to play,” she said to the New York Times. “If they did expand it at more events, I think you’d see players like Serena and Andy — who normally don’t play doubles at Indian Wells or Miami — maybe they would play mixed, and it would be good for TV and for doubles.”