A match away from title number eight and if Serena Williams showed a hint of slowing down it wasn’t on show as she broke into a canter against unseeded Ukrainian Barbora Strycova.
Taking one minute under the hour to wrestle Strycova to the ground and choke her out, Williams has come within a match of equaling the record of Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam singles’ wins and becomes the oldest Grand Slam finalist in Open Era history.
If the ageing rockers in the men’s draw, have been turning heads, Williams is doing it all on her own, taking ownership of this semifinal long before the 27 minutes it took her to clean out the first set 6-1 and the second 6-2.
At 37 years 291 days, she officially takes over from Martina Navratilova as the oldest swinger 15 years after Navratilova contested the 1994 final at 37 years 258 days, losing to Spain’s Conchita Martinez.
In her 11th Wimbledon final, Williams meets former world number one Simona Halep, whose passage was similarly sweet. Beating eighth seed Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 the French Open champion in 2018 was delayed for just 73 minutes. It is Halep’s first final on a surface she once held in contempt.
Having returned to competition 16 months ago following the September 2017 birth of her daughter, Williams has been chasing just one number and that’s 24 although her mindset for the final was less inclined to invite that kind of pressure into plans.
“I thought about it this morning,” said Williams. “I actually didn’t think about it since because it’s really not about 24 or 23 or 25. It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what.
“No matter what I do, I will always have a great career. I don’t know. Like, I just kind of let it go this morning. Yeah, I feel really calm about it.”