Wimbledon 2018 Results: Thursday Winners, Scores, Stats and Singles Draw Update

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJuly 12, 2018

US player Serena Williams celebrates after beating Germany's Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4 in 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 Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Angelique Kerber will take on seven-time champion Serena Williams in the women's final of Wimbledon 2018 after both players secured comfortable semi-final victories in London on Thursday.

Germany's Kerber was up first and had few problems seeing off Jelena Ostapenko to reach the final at SW19 for the second time in three years.

Williams beat Germany's Julia Gorges and can capture her 24th Grand Slam title with victory over Kerber on Saturday.


Thursday's Results

(11) Angelique Kerber bt. (12) Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3

(25) Serena Williams bt. (13) Julia Gorges 6-2, 6-4


Ostapenko started in determined mood by going for her shots and hitting plenty of winners as she forced Kerber on to the back foot.

It was a high-risk strategy and Kerber could have taken an early advantage, but she could not convert a break point in the opening game.

The breakthrough eventually came due to some excellent retrieving from Kerber, which eventually forced Ostapenko to hit long. The German broke to move 4-3 up and was forced to work hard to consolidate her advantage in the next game.

Errors were proving costly for Ostapenko, and a double fault handed Kerber another break and the first set.

Freelance tennis writer Ben Rothenberg highlighted her error count:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

First set to Angelique Kerber, 6-3 over Jelena Ostapenko. #Wimbledon Counterpunching beating haymakers so far. Winners / unforced errors: Ostapenko: 18 / 19 Kerber: 6 / 2

The momentum was with Kerber, and she quickly moved into a 3-0 lead in the second set. Ostapenko's tennis was becoming increasingly erratic, and two more games followed to leave Kerber on the brink of victory at 5-1.

Christopher Clarey at the New York Times showed the first-serve percentages for both players:

Christopher Clarey @christophclarey

1st serve percentages Ostapenko 58% Kerber 85%

With the finishing line in sight, Kerber began to look nervous, but Ostapenko failed to convert another break point at 5-3 as the German managed to see out the win.

The 11th seed offered her verdict after the game, per Metro's George Bellshaw:

George Bellshaw @BellshawGeorge

Kerber: 'First of all I thought it was a really tough match. Jelena is always playing great tennis. I was moving good and taking my chances. It's such a great feeling to be back in the final.'

Kerber will face Williams next after the American booked her place in the final of a Grand Slam for the first time since returning to the tour from maternity leave.

Rothenberg put her achievement into perspective:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Less than a year after giving birth to her daughter, Serena Williams is into the #Wimbledon final, beating #13 Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4. She'll face Angelique Kerber, another former #1, as she goes for her 24th career Grand Slam singles title.

The match was a first Grand Slam semi-final for Gorges, and she was up against it from the start. The German saved a break point in her opening service game but managed more winners than her opponent in the early stages.

However, from 2-2, Williams stepped it up a gear. She won the next four games in a row to clinch the first set.

Rothenberg showed how she was still behind Gorges when it came to winners:

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.

Gorges was making little impact on the Williams serve, which was functioning at a high level. Clarey showed just how formidable a weapon it is:

Christopher Clarey @christophclarey

Serena's biggest 1st serve here - 122 mph (196 kph) - is the same as Djokovic's

Williams broke again at 4-2, but Gorges produced a brief comeback as she broke when her opponent was serving for the match. The American seemed riled by her inability to wrap up the contest and promptly hit back to set up a rematch of the Wimbledon 2016 final.

WTA Insider showed how Williams has improved as the tournament has progressed:

WTA Insider @WTA_insider

Serena Williams’ unforced error count in her last four matches @Wimbledon: 3R: 19 4R: 11 QF: 9 SF: 7 #Wimbledon

It is some achievement for Williams, who now has another landmark in sight. A win on Saturday would see her equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.