In the set, Williams won an incredible 87 percent of her first-serve points (13 of 15).
Today, at 36 and just 10 months removed from a hard childbirth that was followed by grave health complications, she's bemused by those who expected her to reach Wimbledon's final this year, so soon after returning to competition.
Williams is headed to her 10th Wimbledon final after defeating Germany's Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday. So do I. She's playing so well. In the title round on Saturday, she faces 30-year-old Angelique Kerber, who ripped through her semifinal clash against the young and furious Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 in 68 minutes.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles victor won their semi-final 6-2, 6-4 in just 70 minutes to reach her 10th Wimbledon singles final.
'But as I said in the past couple years, I don't want to limit myself. I think she's incredibly confident.
At the beginning of the match, it seemed as if it may just work with the crowd-pleasing Ostapenko mixing her big boisterous hitting with some drop shots, as if to signal that she has soft hands as well.
"Yeah, I think she is coming back, for sure".
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It's nearly as if Serena Williams never left.
Middleton will watch the gentlemen's final Sunday with Prince William.
Goerges had come into her first Grand Slam semi-final having belted more winners (199), more aces (44) and more unreturned serves (113) than anyone else in the women's draw but those statistics counted for little when she came up against an opponent who is in hot pursuit of a record-equalling 24th major.
Speaking to reporters after Thursday's semifinal, Williams appeared relaxed and revealed more about the challenges she has faced since Alexis Olympia was born September 1, including a recurrence of life-threatening blood clots after her emergency Caesarean section.
Extended bed rest followed. "I remember I couldn't even walk to my mail box, so it's definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final". "But in a way, it's by far the best".
As a result she spent the first six weeks of motherhood in bed as she recovered from the ordeal.
History was made at Wimbledon this year when all the top-10 seeds were knocked out before the quarterfinals for the first time.
It was a process, as was reclaiming her movement, her timing and the power in her serve - particularly after injuring a pectoral muscle midway through the French Open. "I know that I have to play my best tennis to beat her, especially on the grass".