Wimbledon - Thursday Schedule: Ostapenko-Kerber and Serena Williams-Goerges

Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates defeating Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko during their women's singles semi-finals match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Thursday

Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates defeating Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko during their women's singles semi-finals match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Thursday

The underdog won't lose the 2018 Wimbledon final; Williams will have to win it, as the American did with a 7-5 6-3 victory over the German two years ago.

After winning her semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3, Kerber was asked what she sees across the net when she goes up against Williams.

"With 2016, all the success, 2017, with a few up and downs, to coming back this year, I think I learned so many things about me".

The two tennis players have competed against one another as early as 2010, though their most recent competition was in June this year, when Williams beat Georges at the French Open in the fourth round. Since that Saturday, Williams won the 2017 Australian Open, became the winningest player of the Open era, regained the No. 1 world ranking, had a baby, got married and didn't play a tournament for 14 months. That win in Melbourne marked the start of a stellar year for Kerber, who also won the US Open and Olympic silver.

The left-hander lags behind Williams 6-2 in their previous meetings but one of her wins was in the Australian Open final in 2016, a year in which the German also claimed the U.S. Open and battled Williams in the Wimbledon final. "I know that she is always pushing you to the limits to play your best tennis". So, she would need to play at a much much higher level than she had been playing so far. "She does it so well".

By contrast, Williams came into Wimbledon facing questions over fitness.

Under new coach Wim Fissette, Kerber has quickly got somewhere close to her best form.

"For me this year, it was really important for me to really playing again a consistent year". "She's such a great opponent. I had a really tough delivery and nearly didn't make it, to be honest", Williams said.

This was one of a clutch of strangely lacklustre all-Williams finals that played a role in the public's apathy.

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After giving birth to daughter Olympia last September, Williams dealt with issues including blood clots, and she's been wearing compression leggings this fortnight as a precaution. But it will be no easy road.

Navratilova has been as impressed as anyone watching Williams's Wimbledon return, the American having been absent past year as she prepared to give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia. That match signified Angelique Kerber's ascension to the top of the women's game.

After withdrawing from her fourth-round match at the French Open with a pectoral injury last month, Williams' serve has been a potent weapon this tournament.

She has delivered 44 aces and won 80 percent of first serve points and looks unstoppable.

Williams says the problems she faced after the birth of Olympia have left her in constant fear of new complications arising with a pulmonary embolism. At the All England Club, she's won seven singles titles and six doubles titles.

With compatriot Meghan Markle, whose marriage to Britain's Prince Harry Serena attended this year, watching from the Royal Box the stage seemed set for another memorable day in the fairytale career of Williams.

For the most part, Clijsters found tennis a nice distraction - and even "like my psychologist" after the death of her father the same year she first reigned in NY.

She arrives in her 30th Grand Slam final and her 10th at Wimbledon.

Nine-times champion Martina Navratilova said victory on Saturday would be the "biggest triumph of her career". "That's why she is where she is now". Sometimes in the match that happens because I really want to hit a victor, I want to win the point.

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