Serena Williams advances to Wimbledon final; takes big step into history

Looking to tie the record for Grand Slam wins, the tennis superstar beat Czech Republic challenger Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-2 to move on to the finals

United States' Serena Williams returns to Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova in a Women's semifinal singles match on day ten of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
According to the Daily Mail, with this milestone, the 37-year-old, who already has seven Wimbledon titles to her name, has now become the oldest woman to ever compete in a grand slam final.
Williams beat the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals on Centre Court. She converted four of her five break points, while Strycova failed on all three of her chances.
Saturday, Williams will face Romanian Simona Halep and appears to be one step closer to achieving a record-equalling 24th major title win.
“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,” said Williams. “Like, I just kind of let it go this morning.”

It’s the 11th final at the All England Club for Williams, the first for Halep, whose only major trophy came at the French Open last year.

They’ve played each other 10 previous times, with Williams winning nine, including a three-setter at the Australian Open in January.

READ MORE: Serena Williams makes history as first athlete ever to make Forbes’ list of World’s Richest Self-Made Women

“I respect a lot what she has done and what she’s doing,” said Halep, who, like Williams, used to be ranked No. 1. “But now I feel stronger, mentally, facing her. We will see what is going to happen. It’s just a big challenge for me.”

If Williams does take the Grand Slam, it would be a triumphant turnaround from her loss nearly a year ago at the U.S. Open in New York when she lost the title to opponent Naomi Osaka. In a personal essay she wrote for Harper’s Bazaar, the the tennis champ explains how difficult life was for her after that day.
“…I felt defeated and disrespected by a sport that I love—one that I had dedicated my life to and that my family truly changed, not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn’t stop winning.”

READ MORE: In essay, Serena Williams says she sought therapy after 2018 US Open loss

The Associated Press contributed to this report.