Wimbledon Women's Singles
Who: Serena Williams will meet 11th seed Angelique Kerber, with Williams in search of Margaret Court's record of 24 career titles. Williams, a seven-winner at Wimbledon, would match the court record if she could peak Kerber in a round of the 2016 Wimbledon final. (She's 23-6 in the Grand Slam Finals.) Kerber, 30, a former world-class 1, has claimed two Grand Slam titles, both 2016.
Williams, 36, won his latest Grand Slam title at 2017 Australian Open while about eight weeks pregnant. She missed the next four majors, returned to the French Open this spring, but had to release that event due to a pectoral injury before a planned 16th match. It was her first withdrawal from single contest during a major tournament.
When: Women's final was scheduled for 9:00 o'clock on Saturday, but this start time could be driven back by the end of the second semifinal. The Novak Djokovic-Raphael Nadal match, as Djokovic leads two sets to one, will resume at 8:00 o'clock, with the winner facing South Africa's Kevin Anderson in the Sunday Men's final. Saturday's final play begins after the end of the men's match.
Watching TV: ESPN will fly the women's last live. Chris Fowler will play games and Chris Evert is an analyst. The match is also scheduled to air again at ABC at 3 p.m. East, and at ESPNEWS at 12:30 AM Sunday.
How to Stream: You can watch coverage of women's finals on The Wimbledon Channel or on the WatchESPN app.
Wimbledon showings: Williams plays in his 18th lead at Wimbledon, and has now reached a surprising 10 finals. She won the women's single titles 2015 and 2016 – her former two actors – and has now won 20 straight matches there, which corresponds to her longest stretch. The previous stretch came from 2002 to 2004, when Williams won consecutive titles before losing the 2004 final. Kerber, from Germany, is at her 11th Wimbledon, but advanced to the semifinals for only the third time this year. Williams has found a single set in this year's tournament.
2016 final: Williams found history in his latest Wimbledon meeting with Kerber, which corresponds to Steffi Graf's Open-Era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles with her 7-5, 6-3 win. Posten's Chuck Culpepper associated his dominance in that match:
Through a high quality match with lively rallies that drew ghosts from the audience, she served to carry her over some rocks. She only met a breakpoint – the only one she met in the last three rounds – in the second match's seventh match. She cleaned it with a 117mph island to the double line. She blasted 13 aces to Kerber zero. Unreturned earns went 27-12.
"I'm trying everything," said Kerber. . . .
[In the final game, Williams] was placed and blasted three first servers – 94 mph, 114, 101 – where the ball only ticked the Kerber's racket. At 40 love she produced a backhand volley and a forehand volley (part of her 16-4 advantage in net points) who left her tumbling to the grass before joining Kerber in a long respectful hug.
Kerber had previously beat Williams in the 2016 Australian Open final.
The story line: If Williams strives for a 24th Grand Slam title and the eighth Wimbledon crown is not enough, it's also her rocky yet remarkable return from a difficult birth less than a year ago. As the post's Liz Clarke detailed this week, her last year included "a recurring life-threatening blood clot after her acute caesarean section", extended bed support during which she could barely go and then stop returning to the competition.
Because of her absence, she is now ranked 181th in the world, making her "the lowest ranked woman in the open time to reach a semifinal at Wimbledon", according to the tournament. She did not get a seed on the French Open, which led to a debate about how tournaments deal with maternity leave for top female players. Wimbledon awarded Williams the 25th seed. The end will only be her 14th match in 2018.
Read more Wimbledon coverage from the post:
Wimbledon keeps lasting memories before the last game begins
There is grace from the court at Wimbledon as well. Nadal, Part Potro and Federer prove it.
Kevin Anderson lays John Isner in challenging Wimbledon semifinal