Williams thrilled to reach final
Originally published on 13/07/17 00:00
The five-time former champion will face Garbine Muguruza for the chance to claim her eighth Grand Slam title, having claimed her seventh at the All England Club in 2008.
Victory on Saturday would make her the oldest women’s Grand Slam champion, replacing her sister Serena Williams, who was 35 when she won the Australian Open in January.
“I feel very focused still – there's still a lot to be done,” said Williams. “I have one more match that I'd like to be the winner of. I have to go out there and take it and play well.”
Williams had not reached a Grand Slam semi-final since the 2010 US Open before reaching the final four at Wimbledon last year. Since then, she has reached the second week at the next four majors, including her run to that Australian Open final earlier this season, where she lost to Serena.
“I miss her so much,”Williams said of her sister, who is expecting her first child. “Even more yesterday and today. I try to take the same courage on the court that she would have. I did think of that. I tried to do the things she would do. I don't know that I play exactly the same way she does. But I really tried to be inspired by it.”
It is 20 years since Williams made her Wimbledon debut, losing her first-round match in three sets to Poland’s Magdalena Grzybowska. “I was so nervous in my first match here, it was a total disaster,” she recalls. “Poor young Vee. But I’ve definitely come up since that time.
“I don't think I could ever be that nervous. Also I know how to handle it a lot better. There's moments where maybe you aren't as relaxed as other moments, but it's about handling it.”
Former French Open champion Muguruza has been in ominous form in the second week at the All England Club, ousting top seed Angelique Kerber and two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova before racing past Magdalena Rybarikova for the loss of just two games in the other semi-final.
But Williams isn’t worried about her opponent’s form – she is focused on her side of the net.
“For me it's just about betting on myself every time,” said Williams. “When I look across the net, I don't think it's the right mentality to believe in that person more than me. It doesn't mean that I've won every time, but I've tried to give myself the best chance no matter what the circumstances were.”
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