Serena Williams and Simona Halep dominated their semifinal matches at Wimbledon on Thursday, setting up their 12th lifetime meeting Saturday in the women's final.
Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon winner, will make her 11th appearance in the singles finals at the All England Club. Halep, a former World No. 1, has one Grand Slam championship to her credit, the French Open in 2018.
A win by Williams would give her 24 Grand Slam tournament titles, tying Australian legend Margaret Court for the most all-time.
It took Williams just 59 minutes to topple Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1 and advance to her second straight Wimbledon final and her 32nd final of a Grand Slam. Angelique Kerber defeated her in the 2018 final.
"It definitely feels good to be back in the final," Williams told ESPN after the match. "I love what I do. I wake up every morning. I get to be fit. I get to play a sport. ... I have a great job, and I'm still pretty good at what I do, I guess."
Halep, the seventh seed in the women's draw, surged into the final with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in just 73 minutes.
"It is one of the best moments of my life," Halep said in her post-match interview. "I'm really excited but also nervous. I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. It was not as easy as the score shows. I fought really hard. [Svitolina] is an amazing player and it's always tough to play against her."
Halep advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals in 2014.
Williams is 9-2 all-time against the 27-year-old Halep, including their only meeting at Wimbledon (2011 in the round of 64). The past two meetings were also on the Grand Slam stage. Williams won in three sets in the 2019 Australian Open and took another three-setter at the 2016 US Open.
In her post-match news conference, Williams addressed the potential of tying Court's record in Grand Slam tournaments. Williams has been stuck on 23 since she won the Australian Open in January 2017 before the birth of her daughter later that year.
"It's really not about 24 or 23 or 25, it's really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what," Williams, 37, said. "No matter what I do, I will always have a great career. I don't know ... I just kind of let it go this morning. I feel really calm about it."
With Thursday's win, Williams tied Martina Navratilova for the second-most finals in tennis history with 32, trailing only Chris Evert's 34.
--Field Level Media