London - Just 10 months after giving birth, Serena Williams
can complete her incredible comeback in Saturday's Wimbledon final against
Angelique Kerber as she bids to become the first mother to win the tournament
for 38 years.
Williams is playing only her fourth tournament since the
arrival of baby daughter Olympia in September and is now just one win away from
her eighth Wimbledon title.
That would make her the first mother to lift the Venus
Rosewater Dish since Evonne Goolagong in 1980.
Serena can also equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand
Slam singles titles if she beats Kerber.
Court and Kim Clijsters are the other mothers to have won
major titles - making Serena's presence in the final even more incredible given
the difficulties she has endured since she last played at Wimbledon in 2016.
The 36-year-old's pregnancy ended with an extremely
difficult delivery that left her needing several operations to prevent
life-threatening blood clots.
Williams was forced to stay in bed for six weeks and could
barely walk as she recovered from the traumatic experience.
"It's no secret I had a super tough delivery. I lost
count after, like, four surgeries because I was in so many," Williams said
after beating Julia Goerges to reach her 10th Wimbledon final.
"Because of all the blood issues I have, I was really
touch-and-go for a minute.
"In a way, it's by far the toughest year for me, but in
a way it's by far the best.
"Because I have Olympia. For me, I only see joy out of
The 23-time Grand Slam champion insists the pain was all
worthwhile now she has her first child with her at Wimbledon.
If anyone would be able to return from such a debilitating
experience, it would be Serena.
The American's fiercely competitive streak fuelled her rise
from the bullet-riddled courts of Compton in south-central Los Angeles, and she
remains as driven as ever.
Making a mockery of Wimbledon's decision to seed her a lowly
25th, Williams has powered through the draw, getting stronger with each match.
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.
That streak dates back to Williams' titles on her last two
visits in 2016 and 2015 and she is the odds-on favourite to see off Kerber, who
she beat in the All England Club title match two years ago.
"I can't say it's the one I'm most proud of. I can't
say it's not. I'm so in a zone in terms of just wanting to keep playing,"
"Being here and having an opportunity to play is super
great for me."
Asked about the historic dimensions of her potential triumph
this weekend, Serena played down the implications to avoid giving her opponent
even more motivation.
"To be perfectly honest, I haven't thought about that
this tournament. Not even once actually," said Serena, who will be cheered
on from the Royal Box by her friend the Duchess of Sussex.
"I think that's a good thing because, you know, I put
so much pressure on myself when I was trying to get to 18 (major titles), then
the rest, it was so much.
"It's just a number. I want to get as many as I can. I
still have a match to win, so I'm not even there yet."
For German 11th seed Kerber, winning Wimbledon for the first
time - at the expense of the woman who denied her in 2016 - would be a sweet
The 30-year-old has bounced back from a terrible 2017 and is
close to the form that brought her the Australian and US Open titles two years
"Wimbledon is a really special place. I think everybody
knows this tournament. It would be really special to win," she said.
"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