London: Angelique Kerber raced into her second Wimbledon final as the German crushed former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3 in just 67 minutes on Thursday.
Kerber took the express route to her a fourth Grand Slam title match with a ‘blink and you miss it’ demolition of Ostapenko on Centre Court.
The 30-year-old hit only 10 winners but that was all it took to get the job done as Ostapenko shot herself in the foot with 36 unforced errors.
Kerber faces seven-time champion Serena Williams in Saturday’s final.
“I was just trying to move good and take my chances. I’m so excited,” Kerber said.
“It’s such a great feeling to be back in the final. Playing on Centre Court is always great.”
Referencing her dismal form last year, Kerber added: “2017 is over and I’m really happy about that. We are in 2018!
“I’m really happy and proud to be in a Grand Slam final. These are the matches I was working for since I was a kid.”
Kerber was beaten by Williams in the 2016 Wimbledon showpiece.
It will be world No. 10 Kerber’s first Grand Slam final since she won the second of her two major titles at the 2016 US Open.
Kerber is bidding to become the first German woman to win Wimbledon was Steffi Graf in 1996.
After winning the Australian and US Open titles and reaching the Wimbledon final two years ago, Kerber endured a significant slump in 2017.
But the former world No. 1 has been reinvigorated over the last few months.
In her third Wimbledon semi-final and seventh at the majors, Kerber landed the first blow with a break, thanks to a wild Ostapenko misfire, in the seventh game of the first set.
Ostapenko’s go for broke mentality came back to haunt the 12th seed again when a double fault on set point allowed Kerber to seize the lead.
Having dropped a set for the first time in the tournament, former junior Wimbledon winner Ostapenko was broken again in the second game of the second set as Kerber stepped up the pressure.
Ostapenko, 21, had admitted she cracked under the strain of defending the French Open title when she lost in the first round last month.
And the first Latvian woman to make the Wimbledon semi-finals was paying the price for more rash mistakes as the match slipped away.
Showing her first sign of nerves Kerber wasted a match point and was broken when she served at 5-1.
Williams demonstrated that having a baby had not robbed her of any of her phenomenal tennis skills when she became the first mother in 38 years to reach the Wimbledon final, with a 6-2, 6-4 demolition of Germany’s Julia Goerges on Thursday.
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.
The 13th seed had never taken a set off Williams in three previous meetings and any hopes she might have harboured of setting up an all-German final with Kerber were dashed in 70 unforgiving minutes.
In each set Goerges was broken in the sixth game and she simply did not have the firepower or belief to stop the seven-times champion from surging to a 20th successive win on the hallowed turf.
“It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel because I literally didn’t think I’d do this well in my fourth tournament back,” said Williams.
“I don’t have anything to lose and I feel I can play so free. That’s what I’m doing.
“This is not inevitable for me, I had a really tough delivery and multiple surgeries and almost didn’t make it to be honest. I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final. I’m enjoying every moment.”
Williams was back giving the crowd a one-arm raised victory twirl after reaching a 10th Wimbledon final after her opponent swiped a lob behind the baseline.
At 181st in the world, Williams, who gave birth to a daughter 10 months ago, is the lowest ranked player to reach the women’s final but that number will fool no one, and especially not Kerber.