Serena Williams is heading to the Wimbledon finals.
The 36-year-old athlete beat German Julia Gorges in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. She will compete for her eighth Wimbledon title on Saturday. Her opponent will be Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in Thursday’s first match.
“It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel, you know, because literally, I didn’t expect to do this well in my fourth tournament back,” Williams said, according to the Associated Press.
Williams previously faced Kerber at the All England Club in the 2016 Wimbledon finals. That year, Williams beat Kerber 7-5, 6-3.
Ahead of Saturday’s final, Kerber is ranked No. 10 in the world.
This is Williams’s first Wimbledon since she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in 2017. Williams was the No. 1-ranked player in the world when she went on a maternity leave that lasted 13 months. Despite being ranked 183rd in the world, she was awarded the 25th seed at the tournament in England as part of an effort by professional tennis to avoid being seen as punishing women who step away from the sport to have children.
“This is not inevitable for me,” Williams said after winning the semifinals on Thursday. “I had a really tough delivery, and I had to have multiple surgeries and almost didn’t make it, to be honest. I remember I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final. So I’m taking everything as it is and just enjoying every moment.”
Earlier this summer, Williams made her post-baby Grand Slam debut at the French Open. She was scheduled to play Russia’s Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, but Williams had to withdrawal due to an injury, a first for the 23-time Grand Slam winner.