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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

'Last year I was literally fighting for my life' - Serena Williams secures US Open final berth

The 36-year-old held back tears as she celebrated her semi-final victory.

Williams celebrates a point during her US Open semi-final.
Williams celebrates a point during her US Open semi-final.

SERENA WILLIAMS HELD back tears after securing her place in the final of the 2018 US Open with a straight sets victory over Anastasija Sevastova on Thursday night.

The 36-year-old is now just one game away from equalling Margaret Court’s Grand Slam title record of 24 and will go into the decider against Naomi Osaka high on confidence.

Speaking to assembled members of the media, Williams explained just why the victory meant so much to her.

“I got a little bit emotional out there because last year I was literally fighting for my life in the hospital,” she said, referring to complications with her pregnancy. “I was on my third surgery, I had one more to go still.

“To come from that in the hospital bed and not being able to move or walk or do anything, and now only a year later I’m not [only] training but I’m in these finals.

Like I said, I’m not finished. This is only the beginning. I’m on the climb. My future is bright, even though I’m not a spring chicken. That is super exciting for me.”

Williams dismantled her opponent in just 66 minutes, dropping only three games and will now face Osaka in the final who overcame another American, Madison Keys, to become the first Japanese woman to make it to a Grand Slam final.

2018 US Open - 6 Sep Serena waves to the crowd. Source: AFP7

Williams has been very open about her difficulties during the birth of her daughter Olympia. Earlier this year, she donned a ‘Black Panther’ inspired body suit while playing at the French Open. She later revealed that her outfit was chosen in an effort to prevent blood clots, which she suffered during her pregnancy.

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To have reached the final at the this stage in her career is certainly remarkable. Williams now becomes the third oldest woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era behind Martina Navratilova and her sister, Venus Williams.

“Honestly it is remarkable, I couldn’t have predicted this at all. I’ve been working really hard. This is the beginning of my return, I’m only on the way up.

There’s much more that I plan on doing. You don’t reach your best a couple of months in.

“There’s a lot of growth still to go into my game and that’s actually the most exciting part.”

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