Serena powers past Strycova into Wimbledon final

Clobbering huge serves and forehands, the veteran American was always in control as she set up a showdown with Romanian former world number one Simona Halep in Saturday’s final.

The 37-year-old will become the oldest woman to contest a Grand Slam final in the professional era and will have another chance to equal Margaret Court’s record 24 singles majors, having lost in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year.

Strycova, the oldest first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist at 33, boasts a tricky game that scrambled the mind of the UK’s Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals.

But seven-times Wimbledon champion Williams, still seeking her first title since becoming a mother in 2017, is made of much sterner stuff and simply bulldozed her way through her opponent’s lightweight resistance.

Simona Halep rolled over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-3 in the other semis on the same day to reach her first Wimbledon final.

Halep took nine minutes to hold serve in the opening game of the encounter played out in glorious sunshine on Centre Court or that Svitolina earned and squandered three break points.

Readers will also have no idea that the first two games alone lasted 20 exhilarating minutes, featuring 10 break points and that Svitolina could have been 2-0 up if she had capitalised on the numerous opportunities that fell her way.

Instead, it was Halep who grabbed the 2-0 lead before running away with a victory that put her one win from becoming the first Romanian to lift a Wimbledon singles trophy.

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