Serena Williams was excited to be back in the final as she strolled past Maria Sharapova to plant her flag in the familiar territory of Wimbledon’s last Saturday.
It was the No 1 seed’s 18th win in 20 matches against the Russian and she rarely looked in danger of losing here, strolling to a 6-2 6-4 win.
Williams now faces Garbine Muguruza in the climactic singles match for the chance to complete the ‘Serena Slam’ and hold all four Grand Slam titles at once.
Williams said: “I’m really excited. I got a little nervous out there; it’s the semi-final of Wimbledon. It’s a long time since I got this far.
“I am just excited to get this far. I think she [Sharapova] played really well when she stepped up. It was not easy out there.”
After hammering Sharapova in the first set, Williams broke her to take a 3-2 lead in the second as a Sharapova double fault – her 43rd of the tournament – sabotaged the Russian.
The five-times champion cruised through her next service game and as Sharapova’s decibel level pitched even higher, her hopes appeared sunk as Williams eyed up three break points.
Sharapova showed admirable pluck, digging herself out to win the game and take the set to 4-3.
Williams then held and Sharapova bravely fended off one match point on serve with a fine defensive performance to prolong the match.
However, the inevitable killer blow fell minutes later as Williams held her serve and marched into Saturday’s final.