Wimbledon finalist Serena Williams inspired by comeback king Tiger Woods
SERENA WILLIAMS will be shooting for sporting immortality tomorrow — inspired by comeback king Tiger Woods.
The American, 37, takes on Simona Halep in the Wimbledon ladies final on the cusp of a record- equalling 24th Grand Slam singles crown.
Williams is playing — and particularly serving — as well as she has ever done.
She believes modern science has enabled her to continue playing at the highest level.
And a number of evergreen stars, including the Masters-winning golfer Woods, have provided sufficient motivation to keep her swinging the racket.
Williams said: “There are things I do differently now than when I first was on tour. It’s lengthening my career.
“It’s not just me, it’s Roger Federer, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, who played forever.
“There are so many athletes now able to do better and play longer, even play some of their best way after their 30s.
“Those athletes, Tiger Woods obviously, and what he did at the Masters, was on top of my mind.
“Those athletes are incredibly inspiring. Technology has really changed. That’s the only reason I’m able to compete.
“We know so much more about our bodies. I’m happy to be back in this experience. I definitely wouldn’t have predicted it a month ago.”
Williams, now free of a knee injury, served with accuracy and precision as she blew away Barbora Strycova 6-1 6-2 in a 59-minute semi-final.
The Czech star might have come from 4-1 down to beat Jo Konta in the quarter-finals but Williams was far too powerful.
Serena, a seven-time singles champion at SW19, won 89 per cent of her first serve points, saved three-break points and hit 28 winners.
The No 11 seed has yet to win a major since becoming a mother in September 2017.
For the past five years she has grown closer and closer to Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams.
She would have achieved it 12 months ago but lost in the Wimbledon final to German Angelique Kerber.
She said: “I remember after that loss I just trained to get physically more fit, so I’m definitely in a different place.
“I have been, just this whole year, trying to stay fit so I can play in Grand Slams.
“I’ve been to a lot of semis and finals since I came back from the baby.
“I felt if I could get some matches, I could play well here.”
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Williams paid tribute to Andy Murray for the match practice he helped her get in the mixed doubles.
She added: “I thought the doubles would help me — I really think it did.
“When I play doubles here with Venus, it definitely helps my singles game. I was really keen to play mixed here.”