11th seed and seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams eased her way through to another final at the All England Club on semifinal day, dropping just three games in a dominant performance against the unseeded Barbora Strycova out on Centre Court.
Strycova had reached a Grand Slam singles semifinal for the first time this tournament, beating the likes of Elise Mertens and Johanna Konta on her way to this stage, but was naturally the huge underdog in this semifinal, with Williams beginning to look like her old self in a tough three-set win over in-form Alison Riske in the last eight.
Many thought the unseeded Czech may have caused some trouble for Williams with her unusual game style, but that proved not to be the case. The 11th seed continued her quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 win in just 59 minutes to set up a final meeting against seventh seed Simona Halep in two days time.
Williams rolls past Strycova to set up Halep clash
It was an even start, with Strycova getting on the board early on, but it didn’t take long for Williams to start dominating in the opening set. The seven-time champion broke the unseeded Czech for 3-1, and consolidated comfortably to lead 4-1 in the opener. The American was gliding around the court with ease and reading Strycova’s game perfectly, breaking again for a 5-1 lead. She fell 0-40 down serving for it, but rallied with five straight points seeing her take the opener in just 27 minutes.
Early on in the second set it seemed that Strycova was working her way into the match a little more, trading two comfortable service holds with Williams early on, though a double fault on break point from the Czech handed the American the break, and she consolidated comfortably to go just two games from the final. As she had been virtually all match, Williams was in complete control, and another break followed by another comfortable service hold saw her ease into her 11th Wimbledon final.
Strycova has had a fantastic tournament and is still in the doubles tournament alongside Hsieh Su-Wei, but could simply do very little today against a player who was in full flight on a court she has had so much success on in the past. 28 winners and just ten unforced errors came off the American’s racket today.
Williams will be a sizeable favorite in the final against Halep on saturday, having just lost once to the Romanian before, and having won when the two met in the Australian Open fourth round earlier this year. However, she was also the favorite for the final against Angelique Kerber last year, with the German winning rather comfortably in the end 12 months ago, meaning the seven-time champion will be wary of the threat Halep poses.