Serena Williams Advances to 2018 Wimbledon Final with Win vs. Julia Gorges

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2018

US player Serena Williams returns against Germany's Julia Goerges during their women's singles semi-final match on the tenth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2018. (Photo by NEIL HALL / various sources / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read NEIL HALL/AFP/Getty Images)
NEIL HALL/Getty Images

Serena Williams swept aside Julia Gorges in straight sets Thursday to book her place in the 2018 Wimbledon final.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles winner won their semi-final 6-2, 6-4 in just 70 minutes to reach her 10th Wimbledon singles final.

In the final, Williams will play Angelique Kerber after the German's 6-3, 6-3 win over Jelena Ostapenko.

The American almost bagged an early break despite Gorges racing to a 40-0 lead in her first service game. After allowing Williams to reach deuce, the German then had to conjure a winner to save a break point before holding.

It was not until the sixth game that the seven-time Wimbledon champion had a breakthrough.

In an intense rally at 30-40, Williams stepped up a gear and forced an error from her opponent to take a 4-2 lead, and she followed that up with a comfortable hold.

Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times supplied the pair's numbers before Gorges served to stay in the set:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Very strong start for Serena, up 5-2 on Julia Goerges. #Wimbledon Super clean playing by both so far: Goerges: 12 winners, 4 unforced errors. Serena: 7 winners, 4 unforced errors.

The 13th seed's resistance crumbled in the following game, though, as she double-faulted to allow Williams to break her to love and claim the opening set.

Tennis writer Tumaini Carayol noted how Williams has made great strides in such a short time since returning from maternity leave:

Tumaini Carayol @tumcarayol

I'm so glad Serena played Indian Wells and Miami when she barely looked like a tennis player just a couple of months ago. It gives a lot of perspective.

Gorges was solid to start the second set as she held her first two service games again, but just as in the first, Williams broke through in the sixth. After a double-fault helped hand Williams a break point, Gorges failed to clear the net with a drop shot.

The set looked to be following the same pattern as the first—Gorges had yet to earn a single break point in the entire match as she struggled to challenge Williams' serve—but the 29-year-old finally did so as Williams attempted to serve for the match.

Gorges raced to a 0-40 lead and managed to convert the third break point with a venomous return to pull the score back to 5-4.

The German was unable to turn that break into anything resembling a comeback, however, as Williams quickly earned three match points in the following game and converted when Gorges sent a lob long.