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

Serena Williams reacts to being fined by Wimbledon

National pride will be at stake for Halep as she bids to become the first Romanian to win a singles title at the spiritual home of grasscourt tennis.

Jubilant Simona Halep has fulfilled her mother's dream in reaching her maiden Wimbledon title decider - five years after an ankle injury crushed her hopes in the semi-finals.

Williams is 9-2 all-time against the 27-year-old Halep, including their only meeting at Wimbledon (2011 in the round of 64).

The Romanian has beaten Williams just once in their previous 10 meetings but insisted her record against the 23-time Grand Slam victor was not cause for concern.

A win on Saturday would tie Williams with Margaret Court for the most career Grand Slam singles titles of 24. "Now I'm in a different place. I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as possible".

"It's like I'm in the middle".

"Now, I believe that I have my chance to win against her". Sportsbooks list Williams as a -184 favorite (risk $184 to win $100) in the latest Williams vs. Halep odds, with the latter getting +156 (risk $100 to win $156) as the underdog. Halep has lost nine of her last 12 final appearances overall.

"Tiger obviously, what he did at the Masters, was on top of my mind", Williams said. I think her ability to improve every time, just to keep improving.

Strycova, who has hinted she could retire from the sport this year, is the underdog coming into the match but insists she has nothing to lose. The 37-year-old dismantled Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in the semifinal to set up a final against Romania's Simona Halep. Riske headed to her first Grand Slam quarterfinals, only to lose to Serena Williams in three sets. She was at her usual court-covering best, which helped limit Strycova to 10 winners.

But after needing 43 minutes to win the most competitive seven-game opening set of the tournament, Halep retained her cool to seal victory with two more service breaks in the second set.

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This is the first time Strycova has reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam after she stunned Britain's Jo Konta in the quarter-finals.

Halep has lost nine of her 10 meetings with Williams but is undaunted by the challenge of facing the 23-times major victor in what will be the American's 11th final at the All England Club.

"I respect a lot what she has done and what she's doing", Halep said. "I'm feeling better, I always said that I just needed some matches".

"Looking back, to even be in those two finals previous year was unbelievable", she said. Also, she considers Federer to be her role model.

Serena Williams is one of the best tennis players to ever set foot on a court, and one of the greatest athletes of all time.

"I'm in a different place, because I wasn't really playing a month ago, like, at all".

"I'm desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop her", she said. Obviously her tenacity, her ability to find power.

And as monumental of an achievement as No. 24 would be, the number itself has little to do with her comeback story.

Before Wimbledon 2019, Mair told SportsLine readers to fade world No. 1 and pre-tournament favorite Ashleigh Barty despite her dominant form. "I feel really calm about it". She had nothing to prove.

Like Strycova, Svitolina never had been to the final four at any Slam.

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