By Sonia Oxley
Serena Williams will face Germany’s Angelique Kerber for an eighth Wimbledon singles title after both won their semi-finals in straight sets.
The American former world number one overpowered Germany’s Julia Gorges 6-2 6-4, while Kerber beat Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3.
Saturday’s final will be a re-match of the 2016 showpiece, which Williams won.
Williams will be seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title and her first since giving birth in September.
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Williams comeback close to a fairytale ending
Williams was in control from the outset against 13th seed Gorges, who was making her Grand Slam semi-final debut.
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.
She broke in the sixth game of the first set when Gorges went wide and then took the set on the German’s serve when her opponent sent a forehand wide.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with the only brief wobble coming in the ninth game when Williams was broken. But she struck back immediately and looked to the sky when an attempted lob from Gorges flew out to give her the victory.
Gorges, who had spent more than 10 hours on court before this match, the longest of any of the semi-finalists by around two and a half hours, was put out of her misery on Centre Court in just 70 minutes.
“It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel because I literally didn’t think I’d do this well in my fourth tournament back,” said Williams.
“I don’t have anything to lose and I feel I can play so free. That’s what I’m doing.
“This is not inevitable for me, I had a really tough delivery and multiple surgeries and almost didn’t make it to be honest. I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final.
“I’m enjoying every moment.”
Williams only returned to the Tour in March, having “almost died” giving birth to her daughter last September.
Despite her maternity break, she is now into a Grand Slam final for the 12th consecutive year.