Two former World No. 1-ranked players swept their way into the Wimbledon women's singles final by making quick work of their opponents in two brutally short sets.
Especially at the All England Club, where a relatively routine 6-2 6-4 victory over 13th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) put Williams one win away from an eighth championship.
Across the net, she will find that same Angelique Kerber whom she defeated in her last title-match appearance on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Kerber did not dictate much, content to let 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko determine the outcome of almost every point.
"She played well again". At 36 years and 291 days, the sixth-oldest Grand Slam semifinalist in the Open Era dominated 62 64 Julia Goerges and became the third oldest major finalist. It is a high-risk game, one that doesn't recognise the meaning of restraint. She's also won her past 15 Grand Slam matches, going to the start of the 2017 Australian Open, which she won while pregnant.
"This is not inevitable for me", she said.
She has dropped just one set at this Wimbledon, against Camila Giorgi in the quarter-finals, and has served the second fastest serve at 122mph - just behind sister Venus' 123mph delivery. And waited for the Latvian to make the mistakes, which she did.
The American, just 10 months after she gave birth, has been incredibly impressive throughout her campaign so far at SW19 and Goerges was simply no match for her. But Kerber settled that niggle with an ace and went on to hold. Ostapenko's inability to reset and find consistency cost her dear.
Nearly inevitably, Williams gained a third break to charge to a 5-2 lead before showing her first signs of nerves to drop serve for the only time while trying to close out the semi-final.
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The statistics told the story. Or, more to the point on this afternoon, how such a stinging serve and big groundstrokes didn't help her avoid first-round exits each of the past five years at Wimbledon.
Leading 4-2, Williams powered into a one-set lead, breaking Goerges to love to move ahead.
After giving birth to daughter Olympia last September, Williams dealt with issues including blood clots, and she's been wearing compression leggings this fortnight as a precaution.
The left-hander had to save a break point, too, at 2-3 - conjuring an ace.
The sheer energy it took to stay with the 25th seed eventually took its toll, though, and Williams was ruthless in converting.
But Williams, who looked disappointed but still unruffled as he has been right through the tournament - so serene that a journalist couldn't resist asking whether this had something to do with motherhood - reeled off the next four points to break right back and win the match.
"I want to be around as long as I can to support her".