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The 36-year-old American eased past Germany's Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4 and will face another German, Angelique Kerber in Saturday's final, her 30th Grand Slam championship match.

There are so many options.

Unbeaten here since 2014, Williams is on a 20-match winning streak on the lawns and is moving as smoothly and striking the ball as crisply and as powerfully as at any time in her career.

Perhaps the best option is simply The Greatest.

Having dropped a set for the first time in the tournament, former junior Wimbledon victor Ostapenko was broken again in the second game of the second set as Kerber stepped up the pressure.

"I feel like she's been playing really well, ". But if any player tips the scales in that category, it's Williams, who is enjoying her matches as much as ever. "[But] every time I go out there, I want to I guess take a giant step forward, keep taking giant steps, but keep improving". Kerber also won that year's U.S. Open, replacing Williams atop the WTA rankings right afterwards.

Williams was bedridden for six weeks after the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, in September past year following an emergency caesarean section. When I talk to my girlfriends, whether they work in a hospital or as a doctor or as a dentist or whatever, the balancing part is hard for everybody.

With compatriot Meghan Markle, whose marriage to Britain's Prince Harry Serena attended this year, watching from the Royal Box the stage seemed set for another memorable day in the fairytale career of Williams.

Twenty years after making her Wimbledon debut as a precocious teenager and 16 years since her first title at the All England Club, Serena remains the pre-eminent force in the women's game.

"To all the mums out there, I was playing for you today, and I tried but Angelique played really well, she played out of her mind", Williams, playing only her fourth tournament since returning to the Tour, said.

Given Williams' absence from the tour coincided with Kerber's slump, it would be fair to consider if having arguably the greatest tennis player of all time as a primary competitor was the motivation Kerber lacked previous year.

Kerber, a former world No.1 (she took over from the American), defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3 to set up the meeting with Serena, whom she beat in the 2016 Australian Open final for her first Grand Slam win.

"Kerber maybe edges it on movement, but Serena wins everything else: serve, return of serve, pace, variety, experience, you name it", Navratilova said.

"I see a champion", Kerber said, "that's for sure". Sometimes in the match that happens because I really want to hit a victor, I want to win the point.

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 come back this year, I think I learned so many things about me, about who I am and what is really important in the life".

Besieged by allegations that results of matches between the pair were "fixed" by Richard, the situation became ugly at Indian Wells when Venus withdrew injured just before her 2001 semi-final against Serena.

That title pushed her past Steffi Graf's record of 22 majors in the half-century professional era; Court won some of her Slams during the amateur era.