Serena Williams’ quest for a 24th Grand Slam is now one match away.
Williams handily defeated unranked Barbora Strýcová of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 Thursday to advance to the Wimbledon final for the second consecutive year. It is her 32nd career Grand Slam final.
“It definitely feels good to be back in the final,” Williams said on ESPN.
“I love what I do. I wake up every morning. I get to be fit. I get to play a sport. … I have a great job, and I’m still pretty good at what I do, I guess.”
The 37-year-old Williams hasn’t added to her 23 Grand Slam victory total since early 2017 before the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia. If she wins coveted No. 24 on Saturday, she’ll match Margaret Court’s record for major singles titles.
After losing in two Grand Slam finals last year — Wimbledon and the U.S. Open — Williams struggled to find her footing in 2019 while dealing with nagging knee injuries. She was upset in the third round of the French Open by 20-year-old Sofia Kenin after previously falling to Karolína Plíšková in the Australian Open quarterfinals thanks to a stunning collapse that saw Plíšková win six consecutive games and save four match points.
Against Strýcová (ranked No. 54 in the world), Williams found her dominant form, winning in just 59 minutes. She had previously beaten fellow American Alison Riske in the quarterfinals and began to find her stride on the grass court in the early rounds.
“Every match I know that I’m improving,” she said.
Williams, who lost in last year’s final to Angelique Kerber, is in her 11th Wimbledon final (she’s won seven) and will face Simona Halep. The No. 7 seed defeated No. 8 Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday to reach her first Wimbledon final.
“She’s tough,” Williams said of Halep. “She played unbelievable today. This is a tough match. I look forward to it.”